Equine lameness is multifaceted and dynamic. In order to make an accurate lameness diagnosis a thorough examination must be conducted. At Shiland Equine we specialize in lameness evaluations and employ many tools to better identify the specific structure causing the horse’s pain. We begin by palpating the neck, back, all joints and soft tissue structures on all four distal limbs, looking for signs of pain, heat, swelling and inflammation. Hoof testers are then applied to rule out foot pain. Gait analyses are conducted to evaluate the movement of the horse and how lameness changes the way they move. Flexion tests are often used to narrow down the lameness to a specific joint and evaluate severity.
Further diagnostics may be necessary such as nerve and/or intra-articular blocks. Digital x-ray and ultrasound are then used to identify the primary cause of the lameness. A targeted treatment plan is created to reduce pain and inflammation and help the horse get back to performing and feeling its best.