Lameness can be one of the most frustrating complications of owning a horse. It can come in many forms but is associated with any disturbance in the normal gait of a horse. We generally define lameness on a scale of 1 to 5. Scale 1 being only very slightly noticeable and 5 being unable to bear any weight on the limb. Examination of a lame horse requires patience and time.
We require the following conditions for a lameness work up:
- A flat hard surface to trot the horse on. This can be a quiet road or driveway area. We cannot conduct a lameness examination in the arena or in the paddock because the surface is too soft.
- A handler that can trot the horse repeatedly during the lameness exam.
- A handler that can lunge the horse.
- Feet which have been maintained ( with or without shoes).
- A drug free horse ( if your horse has received ‘bute’ recently please let us know and we can reschedule your examination).
Please let us know if you cannot meet these conditions and we can arrange an appropriate handler or property for examination.
During a lameness examination we may nerve block the animal. A nerve block involves placing a small amount of local anesthetic under the skin with a needle. This allows us to numb different areas of the foot and/or leg to try and isolate where the pain is coming from. It is not unusual for another limb to show lameness after a successful nerve block.
Once we have isolated the area of pain we use x-rays to assess the bones and joints.
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Local farmers, associated rural communities and Te Puke town people have supported Te Puke Vet Centre for over 50 years. During those years scores of receptionists, nurses and vets have lived and enjoyed the benefits of this great town and area. It is very important for Te Puke Vets that we are strongly integrated with the local community and as part of that we are proud to support many local schools, sports clubs, service organisations and community events.