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Lameness Investigation


At Avonvale Equine Practice we have a team of experienced dedicated equine vets who assess lame horses on a regular basis. We offer lameness investigation both on your yard and at our clinic depending on your needs.

Our lameness investigation starts with a thorough history from you and a thorough examination of the horse at rest. We will carefully palpate the horse, feeling for any swelling, heat or conformational abnormalities. Following a static examination we will view the horse walking and trotting in hand, usually perform flexion tests on relevant limbs, then view the horse on the lunge. Depending on the facilities available and the nature of the lameness we may lunge the horse on both hard and soft ground. In some circumstances we view the horse under saddle too, depending upon the presenting complaint.

Once the lameness has been identified and quantified we will work to isolate the underlying cause. This process usually starts with nerve blocks, but may start with imaging depending on the nature of the lameness. Usually we use nerve blocks to isolate a specific anatomical area to image, and thus pinpoint the underlying cause.

Imaging generally includes radiographs (x-rays) and ultrasound scanning. We have high quality portable x-ray and ultrasound equipment, as well as clinic based systems allowing imaging both at your yard and at the clinic. Radiographs allow us to assess bones and ultrasound allows us to assess soft tissues; for this reason both are often required to reach a diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis has been reached then treatment options will be discussed with you. These vary widely depending on the underlying cause of lameness. In the majority of cases all treatment options can be offered by Avonvale Equine Practice. If any kind of surgical treatment is required then we can utilise our purpose built surgical suite. Other treatments often employed include joint medications and controlled exercise programmes. We offer shockwave therapy, performed at your yard or at our clinic, which can be used to treat a range of conditions. For more information on treatments please see our therapies section.