All posts in Legs and Lameness

Let the Body Heal

It is one of those cases that I will never forget. I was working at the old Lewiston Raceway, and was going to be there all morning. A horse owner that I didn’t know called my office and told my office manager that she had to see me right away…

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Liniments

I’m betting that you probably have at least one bottle of liniment in your tack trunk. That’s good. Liniments are one aid to keeping horses sound.   However, they can do more harm than good if used at the wrong time. In order to use liniments wisely, you have to understand…

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Hopeless Fractures

Would you consider skiing down a mountain knowing that if you broke your leg that would be the end of you?   Me either.   Hundreds of skiers suffer fractured legs every year in the US, and within 6 months most are walking without a limp.   Yet we have all heard about…

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Symmetry

I was called out to Sue’s farm to check out her big Quarter Horse gelding, Carlos, for lameness. When I arrived, Sue said that she hoped this wasn’t a wasted trip. She wasn’t positive that Carlos was lame, but knew he was not himself and had not been performing well.…

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The Landing

My sister in law, in experiencing old age, remarked that she was glad that no one was around to watch her get out of bed in the morning and take the first few steps to the bathroom.  She said, “It’s not a pretty picture.” After a horse has been standing…

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Scratches

Maybe it’s called scratches because even a minor scrape in the skin of the pastern can start this annoying and hard to treat problem. In some parts of the country it is called grease heel, and in others, mud fever. Both of those names are descriptive. The official name is…

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Blocking Out

Most lameness can be diagnosed by using our senses. If we are watching from the ground, our eyes tell us that the horse is not moving right. If we are riding, our seat bones tell us. Our ears can tell us which leg is hitting the ground the hardest. By…

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Lower Leg Wounds

Some 20 years ago I was paged early on a Sunday morning by a client who used to live right in my town.  Her colt was cut on a front leg.   “Do you want to come out now, or can this wait until tomorrow morning?”  I told her I’d drive…

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Gravel

Gravel is the unusual name for what is probably our most common cause of lameness. It would be rare for any equine vet not to be dealing with a case a week. A horse that is “graveled” might be three legged lame one day and completely sound the next. Many…

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Big Fat Legs

“Doc, stick a needle in it and let some of that fluid out, would ya?”  I spent several years working on the race track.   Every so often one of the horsemen would say these words as we were looking at a horse with a big fat leg.  Swollen legs are…

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