Spotting Lameness in Your Horse
Lameness in horses is something that is a common condition that horses tend to experience at one point or another. It typically occurs when there is gait abnormality, which will cause your horse to have a slight limp and obvious avoidance to apply any weight on its injured limb. There are many different reasons as to why lameness occurs, and while it is a common condition, it is something you should treat seriously once you spot lameness in your horse.
Basic Techniques to Spotting Lameness in Your Horse
There are a few things you want to do on your own, before you pick up the phone to call your veterinarian. While your horse is still, take a look at their asymmetries. The left side of the horse should be somewhat equal to the right. If you see a more defined difference in either side, this could be a sign of lameness. After taking a look at its still body, you’ll want to see it in motion. If the horse is having trouble walking, you should call your veterinarian. However, if it is able to move you want to look for it at the trot. Pay close attention to the movement of its head, its hips, and a side view of its entire body. While you are observing your rescue horse, look for common symptoms of lameness.
It’s easy to notice the slightest difference in changes with your horse and while even an untrained eye can spot lameness in your horse, there are still some things that you want to observe more closely. The more symptoms you are able to spot, the more information you can pass along to your veterinarian. These are the common symptoms that rescue horses experience with lameness.
- Changes in behavior
- Limping and inability to bear weight on a limb
- Inability to stand for long periods of time
- Weak performance
- Head bobs
Treatment of Lameness in Rescue Horses
Depending on the cause of the lameness in your horse, there will be different treatment approaches. Most treatments will start off with the rest and hand walking to give the leg some time to heal. There are also medications provided such as NSAID drugs that will help to reduce inflammation and vasodilation. Other common treatments are refitting their shoes to give them more comfortability. For more severe cases of lameness, surgery may be required. The sooner you spot Lameness in your horse, the sooner you can get treatment.
For more information on how to slow feed your horse or how you can rescue a horse in Montana, contact us at any of our two locations: Bozeman and Livingston. Always remember: Ride a horse. Safe a rescue.
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