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Lameness Investigations

 

Lameness Investigations

A thorough lameness investigation can be quite a prolonged process. If we examine a horse and the cause of lameness is not easily diagnosed, we generally advise that the patient is admitted to the surgery. A  stay of anything between 1 to 3 days can be required,  until all investigations (such as nerve blocks, ultrasound scans and X rays) can be completed to localise the source of the lameness. Only by fully assessing the problem can we decide on the best possible treatment for you horse. 

The first step in any lameness diagnosis is to localise the site of the lameness. In most cases, this will be evident from a careful clinical examination. However, sometimes no external signs are present and serial nerve blocks may be needed. Malcolm, Debbie Dani and Sarah are well used to performing these types of investigation. As already mentioned, these tests are much better performed at the surgery.

We have a Digital radiography system, which stores all our X rays on computer. As well as allowing us to subsequently magnify and examine images in great detail, we can email pictures to farriers or other veterinary surgeons as required. We much prefer to get horses in to the surgery for X rays, as we will consistently get better quality pictures. However, we do have the benefit of having a portable digital processor. This means that in exceptional circumstances, such as the acutely lame horse that is unable to travel, we can come to you and both take and develop the X rays on your premises.

We have recently also invested in a new high quality Ultrasound machine. This allows very detailed investigation of soft tissue injuries to the limbs. As with the X rays, images can be stored on the system, and subsequently downloaded if necessary.

Many of our lameness cases require farriery as part of their management. We are very happy to liase with a client's own farrier regarding further treatment. For many of our inpatients, we call on our own farrier, John Stanley. Having known John for many years, we know that he will assess and treat our patients to the very highest standards. He is planning  soon to take exams to become a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, one of the highest qualifications that a farrier can achieve.