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Multilimb Lameness‹ Full Conditions List

Horses with lameness in more than one limb are a diagnostic challenge, especially if both a forelimb and a hindlimb are involved.

The clinical signs may be gradual in onset and it could be some time before the rider appreciates that there is a problem. The signs are rather non-specific and are often connected to back pain. Affected horses often have some secondary back muscle soreness but that is not the primary cause of the performance problem. Physiotherapy treatment may relieve the back pain but unless the primary problem is identified and treated the improvement will be short-lived.

If both forelimbs are affected the rider may realise that the horse is not striding as freely as before. It may feel restricted in the shoulders, although it is much more likely that the source of pain is in the lower parts of the legs. If both hind-limbs are affected, the horse will show loss of engagement and impulsion. It may work more on the forehand and appear to hold it's back stiffly. The horse may be unwilling to work properly on the bit and some hind limb unlevelness might be seen in medium and extended trot. If asked to push more from behind a horse might prefer to break into canter. A jumping horse may lose power and find it hard to jump large spreads. Dressage horses may become resistant or even appear nappy. Clearly it is very complicated but multi-limb lameness is quite common. These difficult manifestations of lameness need considerable time and expertise to unravel the causes.

SyncThermology really does specialise in this type of investigation. We can image the whole body in a short space of time and evaluate primary and secondary changes. Scans are cost effective and can save large sums of money in the initial stages of investigation.

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