Dr. Harms’ Lameness Services

Lameness in horses is a complex problem. A horse may go lame for many reasons, and diagnosis of the cause can be difficult. The nature of horses is to mask injuries to prevent predators from recognizing a weakness. Since the horse can’t explain how it feels, it’s up to the veterinarian to discover the cause of the lameness. Dr. Harms has long experience in diagnosing and treating lameness, whatever the cause.

Signs of lameness may be subtle. The horse may toss its head in rhythm with the stride or drag a toe. Gait changes may also occur, and an uneven gait is a sign of lameness. When standing, it may rest one foot with just a toe on the ground. If you notice any change in your horse’s movements, stop riding until the problem is diagnosed.

Lameness can originate in the hoof, joints, tendons, or ligaments. Bone injuries, conformational abnormalities, and neurological conditions can also lead to lameness. A methodical approach is often needed to diagnose the reason your horse is lame. Some of the diagnostic procedures Dr. Harms may use include:

  • Visual Appraisal at Rest
  • Examination for Conformational Problems
  • Detailed Hoof Examination
  • Palpation of Skeletal Structures
  • Gait Evaluation under Different Conditions
  • Nerve Blocks to Localize The Cause
  • Ultrasound Examination
  • X-Ray Examination

Once the cause of the lameness is determined, which may happen quickly or require an exhaustive examination, Dr. Harms will recommend a treatment plan to correct the problem and return your horse to health. Lameness can be something that is easily and quickly treated, or a problem that requires long-term treatment regimens.

If you notice any signs of lameness in your horse, contact Dr. Harms right away. While some causes may simply require rest to heal, other causes of lameness can cause your horse’s health to deteriorate to a point where it cannot be cured. Quick action at the first sign of lameness is your best assurance of correcting the problem.