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Local Vets since 1949

Lameness & Shoeing

There are many causes of lameness. The cause can be from bruising, arthritis, tendon or ligament problems, fractures, elbow problems, bad shoeing, or perhaps even hip joint problems, heart problems or shoulder problems.

To determine the source of the lameness, do a visual examination of how your horse moves. If your horse takes short, choppy steps and strides, this may indicate that your horse has lameness in both front legs and/or hind legs. If your horse jerks his head and neck upward, watch to see which leg is hitting the ground as the head and neck jerk upward. Most likely that is the leg that is lame. If you do not notice any upward movement of the head and neck then have your horse trot away from you. Carefully watch your horse's hocks and hind quarters. If you notice that one hip is carried high and the other hip drops, your horse is most likely lame in his hind legs. Try to determine which hind leg is lame by watching the hip. The side that is being carried higher is usually the lame side.

If you see any of the following symptoms, arrange a consultant with one of our vets to help properly diagnose the problem.

  • You can feel heat, tenderness or swelling in a particular area.
  • See cuts, bruises, abrasions, pricks, punctures, kicks, and bites
  • Your horse stands with a "point" a forelimb, hind limb or each foot alternatively.
  • Your horse drop on one side showing that he is favouring the other side
  • Dragging a foot (Unable to lift it)