A lame horse is defined as having either an abnormal gait or being incapable of a normal gait. The most common causes of lameness in horses include infection (e.g. foot abscess), traumatic injuries, conditions acquired before birth (e.g., contracted tendons) or after birth (e.g., osteochondritis dissecans).
What causes a horse to become lame?
Lameness is the most common cause of loss of use in horses. It can be caused by trauma, congenital or acquired disorders, infection, metabolic disorders, or nervous and circulatory system disease. Lameness is not a disease per se but a clinical sign. … Pain is the most common cause of lameness in all horses.
Can lame horse be cured?
“While I would say that for the most part we can at least benefit most horses with lameness, we can’t heal everyone,” says Carter. “We can, however, improve the outcome in the majority of cases.” Most horses with lameness problems will probably have to have some form of rehabilitation.
Can a horse be permanently lame?
If left untreated or improperly treated, your horse can be permanently lame after foundering. Navicular disease: Navicular disease is a set of changes or damage to the navicular bone in the hoof. It can cause lameness of varying degrees.
Should you walk a lame horse?
If your horse is limping and bobbing its head while walking then you may have a lame horse. So it’s important that you: … check for limping – carefully watch your horse walk in a straight line on a hard surface to assess any limping.
Should you exercise a lame horse?
With almost any injury, controlled exercise is a crucial component of a successful recovery. Hand walking, or even walking under saddle, will help your horse heal by encouraging proper alignment of tissues with minimal further damage.
How long will my horse be lame?
Depending on the nature of the lameness, horses may need rest for anywhere from a few days for a simple sprain, to weeks or even months for a more serious injury. Rest places less demands on an injured joint surface, where continued use would provoke further inflammation.
When should I call the vet for a lame horse?
The presence of uncontrollable bleeding, foreign objects protruding from the body (do not remove them!), lacerations, injury to the eye or eyelids, abdominal pain or diarrhea, aggressive or unusual behavior, neurologic signs, severe or chronic lameness, mares which are actively in labor for more than 20 minutes without …
Which leg is lame on horse?
When the horse is lame in the front you can determine which leg is lame by watching carefully and noticing when his head is up, and which leg has hit the ground at that moment. He will dip his head down as the sound leg hits the ground and lift his head as the sore hoof or leg contacts the ground.
Why would a horse drag its back feet?
Horses drag their hind feet for many reasons, but the main influences are the rider, the horse’s conformation or shoeing problems. … Low limb carriage, which can cause dragging of the toe, can be due to low heel, long toe foot conformation. Excessive toe wall thickness can also be a contributing factor.