Lameness is our most common visit to horses and most lamenesses are found in the foot! Abscesses of the sole are very common, and are mostly a complication of a puncture wound or sole bruising from rocky ground, which has become septic and painful. These are pared away to allow drainage and subsequent healing, along with antibiotics.

Many lamenesses are diagnosed and cured after the first visit, but it may be necessary to apply nerve blocks or take x-rays to come to a diagnosis. We may ask you to bring your horse to our new Kings Cross Road surgery for further investigation. Navicular disease is an example of a condition which may require additional diagnostic examinations. In Navicular Disease, the navicular bone becomes less dense; which is thought to be due to changes in blood circulation.  A poor quality blood supply to the bone may cause it to become poorly calcified in areas, and the bone then becomes weak and painful. This condition can be difficult to diagnose, as the navicular bone lies almost in the centre of the hoof capsule, and it can be tricky to get high quality x-rays of the that area of the foot. In addition, Navicular disease often waxes and wanes; a horse that may be very lame one day may appear to be fine again for another week before having another bad day, which can make diagnosis more difficult. 

This condition often causes stumbling, with the horse sometimes tripping and falling to its knees - usually on hard ground, where the concussion effect is greatest. Once diagnosed, long-term treatment can produce good recovery from this chronic condition, but some horses are limited in what work they can do. The earlier a condition is seen, the better the chance of resolution. If your veterinary surgeon suspects Navicular disease, they may request you to bring them to the Kings Cross Road surgery, where they can be trotted up on a hard surface, where extensive nerve blocks can be performed if required, and where we have the most equipment to help get the best x-rays taken of your horse. 

Acute lameness may involve ultrasound scanning to assess the severity of, for example, a tendon sprain or tear. Ultrasound scanning is also used for early pregnancy diagnosis and to assess ovarian function. We have access to two ultrasound scanners, one which is a dedicated large animal ultrasound scanner. Your vet surgeon may decide that any soft-tissue injury might benefit from additional diagnostics with an ultrasound scanner, which can help distinguish between different tissues that are lying quite close to each other, but also help determine the severity and extent of any particular soft tissue injury. 

 

Do not hesitate to phone PARKSIDE EQUINE - 01382 811111 (direct line, during working hours) or main number 810777.