Lameness issues can arise for a variety of reasons. Whether dealing with a foot abscess, osteoarthritis, soft tissue injuries, or another cause of lameness, Northern Lakes Equine Practice is here to help. Every lameness evaluation will begin with a thorough history and physical exam. Careful attention will be paid to heat, swelling, and each patient’s response to palpation of muscles, tendons, and ligaments in an effort to localize the region causing an issue. Each patient will be assessed while moving to determine a baseline lameness score. Depending on physical exam findings, further assessment with flexion tests, lunging, or evaluation under saddle may be warranted.

Once a baseline lameness evaluation has been performed, our doctors may discuss further diagnostics, such as regional anesthesia (nerve blocks) or intra-articular anesthesia (joint blocks), to localize the lameness to a specific region. Imaging with digital radiographs or ultrasound may be utilized to evaluate a particular region of interest, diagnose the inciting cause of the lameness, and develop a therapeutic plan. In some cases, more advanced imaging may be necessary—our doctors maintain strong working relationships with several referral clinics should the need for more advanced imaging arise.

Following a diagnosis, our doctors will work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your horse. Treatment of lameness issues varies widely and will be tailored to each patient’s specific injury. Therapies will aim to reduce inflammation/pain and promote healing, often with some degree of rest or controlled exercise. Medical therapy may include anti-inflammatories, intra-articular (joint) therapies, Adequan or Legend therapy, shockwave therapy, or regenerative techniques such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Should your horse encounter a lameness issue, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an evaluation.