by Chuck Maker

Whether your horse competes in FEI level dressage or reigning competitions, few problems can be more worrisome as a sudden lameness of unknown origin or a subtle lameness which impairs your horse’s performance. While a clinical exam and hoof tester application is often all that is needed to diagnose a routine sub solar abscess, many of our equine athletes are affected by more serious injuries. Often times with today’s equine athlete, multiple soft tissue conditions and arthritis present affects different limbs simultaneously, thereby confounding the diagnosis. Clinical experience, sequential regional anesthesia or nerve blocks and repeated gait analysis are often required to define and “un-couple” these conditions and reveal the appropriate course of action. Once localized to a region or regions, we use state-of-the-art imagining methods to define the cause(s) of lameness ranging from digital X-ray and ultrasound to nuclear medicine, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Unequivocally defining the exact location and nature of your horse’s lameness issues with advanced imaging techniques better enables our veterinarians to institute the best treatment plan and quickest route back to the show ring. Please call us at Alpine Animal Hospital 963.2371 if you have any questions.