sherlock-holmes It’s often obvious that a horse is lame.  He may bob his head, shuffle his stride, or lift his pelvis, all in an attempt to make himself more comfortable as he travels.

It’s often NOT obvious that a horse is lame.  Horses are terrific at compensating for minor lameness, and with four legs, even if one of them hurts a bit, there are still three other good legs for the horse to spread his weight around.  Horses with subtle lameness problems can be very frustrating for owners, trainers, and veterinarians alike.

The thing is, when it comes to lameness, just about everyone has an opinion.  It’s easy to get confused.  The key to solving ANY lameness problem is a proper and thorough diagnosis.  Lameness diagnosis if often not easy, and may require a number of steps to come up with a proper conclusion.  Proceeding in a logical, step-wise fashion is the best way to assure that you’ll come up with a proper diagnosis.

We’ll take you through some of the common diagnostic steps used in trying to figure out what your horse may be lame, from anesthetic nerve blocks to X-rays, from scintigraphy to MRI.  But don’t jump right to expensive tests – often, a good old-fashioned physical exam can point out why your horse isn’t traveling right.  Don’t worry – you’ll both get through it!

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