Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.
With six bones articulating in close range and multiple tendons and ligaments controlling extension and flexion, the hock, or the horse equivalent of the human ankle, has many moving and shock-absorbing parts. Add to those the animal’s weight and the fact the joint is almost always in flexion, and you’ve got a recipe for a perplexing number of...
When a racehorse breaks down on the track, you're not only faced with the devastating loss of a horse, but also economic loss and, potentially, an injured jockey. One of the most common sites of catastrophic injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses is the fetlock and its surrounding structures.
The training and racing of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds has always been a source of debate in the racing world due to concerns that exerting young skeletons might make horses more likely to injure themselves. But recent study results from Italian researchers suggest that at least one set of bones in Thoroughbreds might not impacted by training as juveniles: t...
Ever heard of the horse's third trochanter? It's a part of a bone, and guess what: It can break. While not common, third trochanter fractures can cause almost instant, severe hind limb lameness that can be difficult to diagnose. But the news isn't all bad: French researchers say these fractures probably won’t end a horse's athletic c...
Inflammatory conditions of the pastern will be appearing with increasing frequency during the summer season. But as a diagnosis, “pastern dermatitis” leaves much to be desired. When this alone is noted on a biopsy report, it leaves the clinician and client with little useful knowledge.
Foals with contracted limbs, which can prevent them from standing or walking normally, often display a variety of other physical abnormalities that veterinarians haven’t directly tied to the contractures. Understanding correlations between these characteristics could help veterinarians build a bank of knowledge to help guide treatment down the most ...
A horse’s head and neck position during radiographs might influence how veterinarians interpret the images when diagnosing spinous process impingements.
Get out your protractors: New research shows that the various angles of the outer and inner hoof are directly linked to various kinds of lameness, and knowing the angles could help determine which kind of lameness a horse has or is likely to get.
A recent study carried out by a team of equine orthopedic researchers at the University of Guelph Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory took a closer look at post-traumatic osteoarthritis in horses. Specifically, the team evaluated whether or not single impact injury to the fetlock could progress to post-traumatic osteoarthritis or osteochondral dise...
Editor's note: This article is part of TheHorse.com's ongoing coverage of topics presented at the 2012 International Society of Equitation Science conference, held July 18-20 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
A recently published French study suggests a horse's neck posture might indicate correlating back pain.
Many equine athlete owners worry about bone and joint problems as their four-legged partners age. But these issues are just as important in young developing horses as they are in mature horses. One of the most common and potentially damaging developmental orthopedic disorders is osteochondrosis. Earl M. Gaughan, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, clinical professor of larg...
A horse's athletic success depends on the health of his joints, and veterinarians are continually studying up on how best to maintain athletic joints and manage injury. During a presentation at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, Larry Bramlage DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, an equine surgeon ...
Classically, treating horses with small defects in the cartilage lining the ends of joints and the layer of bone directly underneath (the subchondral bone) could be summarized by the mantra, "If in doubt, cut it out." Now, Cornell University surgeons are saying, "If you want sound, pin it down."
When owners think of potentially or ultimately fatal horse health conditions, colic, laminitis, or rabies are some common ailments that might come to mind. A less common eventually fatal condition is bone fragility syndrome (BFS). There's no known cause or cure, and researchers are just working to understand the debilitating disorder. Recently, a rese...
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