Category: Footcare/Lameness

Dental care

Equine dental care is often neglected. As humans we are always off to the dentist for our 6 month check-ups. Horses are just like us, they can get tooth ache, cavities and gum disease. So... why shouldn't your horse get regular check-ups too? Knowing what goes on in your horse's mouth will help you prevent any... Read more »

Thrush and canker

Maintaining your horse's feet in good condition is of primary importance. Neglected feet can develop many conditions which, if left untreated, can result in severe lameness with loss of use of your horse. Thrush and canker are two conditions of the foot which owners of horses should be aware of. Daily cleaning of your horses... Read more »

Tendon injuries

Tendon injuries are a common occurrence in the athletic horse. Although injury can occur in any tendon in any type of horse and age, the superficial digital flexor tendon of the lower limb is most frequently affected, particularly in the racehorse and event horses. It is characterised by heat, pain and swelling of the limb... Read more »

Taking your horse barefoot

Are you thinking of taking your horse barefoot?  If so, here is some useful information before you go ahead. But to start off with, some words of warning!!! Can my horse go barefoot? Going barefoot successfully is a lot more than just taking the shoes off your horse. It involves you, the horse's owner, taking... Read more »

Subsolar abscess – pus in the foot

A subsolar abscess, or pus in the foot, is an infection beneath the sole of the foot. Subsolar abscesses cause severe pain to your horse due to the buildup of pressure under the hoof capsule that cannot expand. The pain can probably be compared to an infection or blood blister under your fingernail, with the... Read more »

Stem cell therapy

Tendon, ligament and joint injuries are common occurrences in horses, and up until recently an injury involving one of these may well have meant the end of a horse's competitive career. But now, with advancing technology, stem cell therapy could give your horse a second chance! What is stem cell therapy? Stem cell therapy is used for... Read more »

Sidebone

Sidebone is the name given to the ossification (bony formations) of the flexible collateral cartilages of the distal phalanx (coffin bone) in the foot. These are found either side of the coffin bone in some horses protruding very little and in others, protruding up towards the level of the pastern joint. These lateral cartilages support... Read more »

Shoeing problems – how to deal with them

Problems with shoeing are most commonly due to horses not being willing to pick up their feet or having them handled, rather than being due to the shoeing itself. These horses are also unlikely to pick up their feet for their owners for daily hoof care, this risks these horses developing problems with their feet.... Read more »

Seedy toe

Good hoof care is essential in avoiding conditions such as quittor. Regular trimming and/or shoeing to ensure all the feet are balanced and are free from cracks is essential. If your horse is shod, they should fit properly, therefore avoiding any nasty tread injuries. What is seedy toe? Seedy toe is separation of the dorsal... Read more »

Quittor

As every horse owner knows, the horse's foot is a very complicated structure. It may not look it from the outside, but within the hoof wall are many elements and sensitive structures that form the foot. Quittor is a condition that affects the lateral cartilages in the foot, however it is relatively uncommon. What is... Read more »

Penetrating foot injuries

As every horse owner knows, the horse's foot is a very complicated structure. It may not look it from the outside, but within the hoof wall are many elements and sensitive structures that form the foot. A penetrating injury to the sole of the foot should be treated as an emergency. What is the anatomy... Read more »

Osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis (OCD) is a failure of normal cartilage and bone development at the joint surfaces of long bones. This leads to bone fragmentation or subchondral bone cysts which are common causes of lameness in the horse. Young horses are most frequently affected and the condition can have an important impact on the horses future athletic... Read more »

Osteoarthritis – the facts

Osteoarthritis (also known as 'arthritis' and 'degenerative joint disease') is a progressive, degenerative condition of joints resulting in cartilage erosion and inflammation. A common cause of lameness in horses, there is no cure but it can be managed. Articular cartilage has very limited ability to repair so the condition is irreversible. Any joint injury or insult can result... Read more »

Nerve blocks – the lame horse

Lameness is a common problem in horses of all ages and types. It can be frustrating, expensive and time-consuming trying to get to the bottom of the problem. Unfortunately horses, unlike people, cannot tell us the source of pain; hence the need for a variety of diagnostic tests accompanied by often multiple imaging modalities in... Read more »

Navicular disease

Navicular disease cannot be cured, but there are various treatments available that can relieve the symptoms to a certain degree. Your vet will discuss the treatment options with you. What is navicular disease? Navicular disease is a slowly progressive arthritic condition of the navicular bone, causing chronic degeneration of the navicular bone in which there... Read more »

Navicular bursitis

The navicular bursa is a small fluid-filled structure in the foot that acts as a cushion where the deep digital flexor tendon passes over the bone and changes direction. A bursa has many properties similar to a joint or a tendon sheath. Bursae are lined with a membrane which produces synovial fluid. Other common bursae... Read more »

Nail bind/nail prick

Foot problems are a common cause of lameness in the horse, accounting for 90% of all forelimb lameness problems. However, the importance of meticulous care of horses' feet is often overlooked by owners. Neglected feet can develop many conditions which, if left untreated, can result in severe lameness with subsequent loss of use of your... Read more »

Ligament injuries

Ligaments are soft tissue structures that connect bone to bone in the skeleton. Injury of these supporting structures is a common cause of lameness in the horse. The severity of lameness and prognosis varies greatly according to the location and degree of ligament injury. Ligaments generally take a long time to heal and gradual return... Read more »

Laminitis – the facts

Laminitis is a common but often poorly understood disease. It is usual for owners to believe it only occurs in spring in small ponies. This is not always the case and it is important you understand the consequences of an episode of laminitis. What is laminitis? Laminitis (also known as 'founder') is a very painful... Read more »

Lameness examinations

Unfortunately, lameness in horses is very common and it is one of the most likely reasons that a horse will require veterinary attention. As a horse owner you can help in the evaluation of your horse's problem by being observant and by keeping good records. What is a lameness examination? A vet carrying out a lameness... Read more »

Lameness

Lameness is the most common reason for horses needing veterinary attention. Athletic horses place huge stresses on their limbs and injury is common. Although complete prevention is not possible some good management will reduce the risk of horses developing lameness problems. What is lameness? A horse suffering from lameness is incapable of normal locomotion, ie... Read more »

Kissing spines

Kissing spines is a colloquial name for over-riding spinous processes. The spinous processes are the vertical projections of vertebral bones in the horse's spine, which run the length of the back and are tallest in the area of the withers. What are kissing spines? When the spinous processes are too close to one another, they are said... Read more »

Horseshoes

Foot problems are one of the most common causes of lameness in horses. However,footcare is often overlooked by owners. Neglected feet can develop many conditions which, if left untreated, can result in severe lameness with loss of use of your horse. Maintaining your horses feet in good condition is of primary importance. Ensuring your horse is seen... Read more »

Fractures

If you have ever been around horses, you will be aware of the frequency with which horses injure themselves compared to other pets. This may be partly related to the flight rather than fight response horses have to certain situations. They also have a large body mass (often in excess of 500 kg) on a... Read more »

Footcare – the barefoot option

The term 'barefoot' is closely associated with more than just the care of your horse's feet. It is an integral part of a new movement that not only looks at the condition of the horse's feet, but also the way in which horses are managed, including diet, environment and exercise. What do I need to... Read more »

Footcare

Foot problems are one of the most common causes of lameness in horses. However, the care of horse's feet is often overlooked by owners. Neglected feet can develop many conditions which, if left untreated, can result in severe lameness with loss of use of your horse. Maintaining your horse's feet in good condition is of primary... Read more »

Flexural limb deformities

The most commonly seen flexural deformities are contracted tendons and joint hyperextension. There are a number of causes, but in all cases, prompt treatment is required for the best possible outcome and future soundness of the horse. What are flexural deformities? A horse is said to have 'contracted tendons' when it is unable to fully... Read more »

Corns

Humans aren't the only ones who can get corns, horses can suffer from them too! Dry corns, moist corns and infected corns are all causes of lameness seen in shod horses. What are corns? Corns are a type of bruising usually seen at the angle of the bars and hoof wall on the inside of... Read more »

Bruised sole

A bruised sole is very common in horses. Both shod and barefoot horses are susceptible, and they can range from minor bruising that heals quickly, to more severe bruising causing lameness which may need veterinary attention. What is a bruised sole? A bruised sole refers to the damage caused to the sensitive structures within the... Read more »

Bog spavin

Joints are complicated structures that are prone to a variety of disorders. Bog spavin is one such condition that is most commonly seen in young horses with osteochondrosis, where cartilage and bone around the joint fails to develop normally. Early detection of bog spavin is important, as the condition can have an important impact on... Read more »