Every stride counts. Originally shared by Rood & Riddle’s Podiatry Facebook page, the video below shows how much work the equine athlete’s hoof does with every stride. When the horse carries at least 60% of its bodyweight on the forelimbs, this is a major reason why forelimb lameness can often be localized to the foot.
Because the equine foot is so dynamic with every shift of weight, there are many ways for all the working components to become injured. Numerous soft-tissue structures in the distal limb are in place to control torque, angulation, and rotation as your horse navigates a jump course, cross-country field, or a dressage test. Often, radiography can be a helpful tool in diagnosing distal limb lameness causes, but sometimes digital ultrasound or MRI are more sensitive to the soft tissue structures which could potentially be involved, as well. Keeping your horse regularly trimmed and/or shod with a balanced hoof and appropriate shoe for their body and use is also vital to maintaining soundness and preventing injury.
If your horse is experiencing an uneven, shortened stride, or even a truly noticeable lameness, veterinary diagnostic nerve blocks will be necessary to localize the suspected region of origin, then advanced imaging can be utilized to help diagnose the true cause. Please contact Dr. Guardia today if you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your horse. (713) 249-1648 [email protected]