Lameness the most frequent cause of reduced performance and loss of use in almost every type of horse. It is a pre-requisite for successful treatment that a precise diagnosis is achieved. We are well equipped for lameness investigations in all types of horses both in terms of facilities and expertise with one of our vets Simon Joyner having recently been awarded the RCVS Certificate in Equine Orthopaedic Surgery; the first vet in the South West to have passed the new style certificate examination in this field.
A lameness investigation will usually begin with a full orthopaedic examination and gait analysis at walk and trot. We have a purpose built lameness investigation area with a straight trot up runway and hard and soft circles. The hard circle is useful for revealing low grade lameness while the soft circle is large enough to allow ridden exercise and canter work for more in depth gait analysis.
Unless the cause of the lameness is apparent following examination nerve or joint blocks will often be employed to localise the source of the lameness. After this diagnostic imaging including radiography(X-rays), and/or ultrasound may be utilised to achieve a specific diagnosis. We have invested in the latest quality equipment in both of these areas but where further information is required we may also employ specialised techniques such as arthroscopic surgery.
Once a diagnosis is achieved we can offer a full range of medical and surgical treatment from joint medication to stem cell treatment of tendon injuries.