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[RC] horse lameness question - k s swigart

Kathie Ford said:

She trots sound on hard pavement (our driveway)
and in the pasture looks okay. BUT, when we have
her trot in the sand arena she is slightly off. Not bad
but it's still there.  Strangely, it shows itself more
when she is trotted with the supposidly bad leg
on the outside.

This is one of the symptoms of a high suspensory injury.

Also, I can't remember where or when I read this,
but I did read something that mentioned that if you
are trotting out a horse on sand vs. hard ground it
would be a clue to either an injury to a tendon or
a bone or something.

Lamer in soft going can be an indication of a soft tissue injury.

She also looks completely sound if we trot her just
a few steps going uphill. ( we do this to assess her
progress) Downhill (on smooth ground only) it shows
just a tad.

Lameness going downhill can also be an indication of a suspensory

High suspensory injuries can be hard to diagnose.  I would look for heat
and/or swelling in that area, and I would probably spring for the

However, you may also want to do the "check to see if it is being caused
by pain" test.  Which is to, in essence, dope her up on heavy duty pain
killers (drugs) work her and see if it helps.  If pain killers don't
make it go away, then the gait irregularity probably isn't being caused
by pain (non response to nerve blocks also suggests that this might be
the case), but rather by some mechanical inability of the leg to move in
its regular way.

There is also the "full body scan" option, but this is an expensive one.

Orange County, Calif.

"If the end justifies the means, everybody is justified." John G. Beck,


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