Equine Lameness

Lameness skills self assessment

Evaluating equine lameness takes practice. Try your hand on youtube videos, clinic cases etc. Find a Horse Angel and practice your passive examination! Or ask SkillsPac to run a session.

Beginner Novice Intermediate Advanced
Forelimb lameness Understand what to look for; sometimes can see it Can see a lameness at a walk Can usually see a lameness at a trot Can detect grade 2 lamenesses
Forelimb lameness Can determine which leg if holding it up or pointing it Occasionally know which leg is affected Generally accurate at which leg is affected Almost always accurate at which leg is affected
Hindlimb lameness Can see if major asymmetry Can see a lameness at a walk Can usually see a lameness at a trot Can detect grade 2 lamenesses
Hindlimb lameness Can identify leg if major asymmetry Occasionally know which leg is affected Generally accurate at which leg is affected Almost always accurate at which leg is affected
Head nod Slow motion makes it visible Can sometimes see the head nod Can see the head nod and can often correlate with weight bearing limb Can detect subtle head nods and can correlate with weight bearing limb
Short stride Not sure of meaning Can tell short stride if slow motion or lunging Can occasionally see the short stride at regular speed Can usually see the short stride
Foot placement (alterations in tracking) Not sure of meaning Understand and can see if exaggerated Can see if watch for it Remember to check for it and can see with little effort
Range of motion Yeah right! Can see changes in joint flexion if in slow motion Can sometimes see a difference in joint flexion Can often see a difference in joint flexion
Hip “hike” Hip huh? Understand but don’t often see without tape markers Can see in many if right conditions (color of horse, background) Can see in most
Flexion tests Understand the principles; not sure could do on own Know the principles behind; can identify structures affected Understand principles; know when and how to use; could do with supervision Comfortable doing and interpreting
Palpation skills Can safely palpate Could pick up asymmetries but might need a refresher on what the structure is Can pick up abnormalities, know the larger structures

 

Can pick up abnormalities even if bilateral and comfortable determining the structures
Hoof testers Understand the principles Can apply safely Can apply and can determine if positive Can apply and interpret

License

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Large Animal Surgery - Supplemental Notes by Erin Malone, DVM, PhD; Elaine Norton, DVM PhD; Erica Dobbs, DVM; and Ashley Ezzo, DVM is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.