Joints are primarily affected by these disorders:
- trauma – fractures or chips
- arthritis = DJD (degenerative joint disease) = OA (osteoarthritis)
- infection- septic arthritis due to hematogenous spread, local extension, or direct trauma
- osteochondrosis – developmental abnormalities in bone/cartilage
All of these can lead to swollen joints. It is important to be able to create differential lists based on the signalment of the horse and the level of lameness. Early identification of trauma and infection are crucial to prevent career and/or life ending damage.