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Treating Horse Foot Pain

If you are a true equestrian, then you know that you cannot simply overestimate the significance of horse’s feet for maintaining soundness, great movement as well as attitude. Chronic foot pain among horses can result to alterations in gait because when the horse struggles to move comfortably, it can eventually hamper its performance.

Due to the reason that there’s more weight carried onto front foot, majority of the problems take place over there. When there’s serious pain in one leg and the horse limps around, it is easy for anyone to see. Mild-to-moderate pain in both feet however is a totally different story. This is true especially if the pain comes slowly. Here however, the changes may be gradual that they are quite easy to miss. On the other hand, there are symptoms that can serve as telltale signs that your horse is feeling pained.

Abnormal Stance

There’s a possibility for horses that have heel pain to stand under themselves with its feet back more toward the belly than underneath. Reverse holds among horses with pain on the front/toe of their foot. This however is not the worse. The individual horse might stand either way no matter where it feels the pain.

Elbows Out

Horses that have foot pain may occasionally stand with its elbows out. Oftentimes, this is associated with triceps muscle atrophy. This is the biggest muscle just above the elbow.

Rigid Head Carriage

Horses that have foot pain usually carry their heads either extended unusually low and forward or higher than normal.

Of course, if your horse feels pain on its feet, there are treatments that can be performed on it. It is vital to work with a respected and experienced veterinarian in order to know the exact reason. This way, the horse can be treated properly. There’s great amount of time and money that may be put into waste on incorrect treatments or continuing to work a horse that simply needs to be given rest.

In most cases, damage to ligaments or tendons will need a stall rest. On the other hand, there’s no point to keep putting the horse to work if it is causing it pain. Your vet and the reaction of your horse will serve as guidance whether to continue the ride or not. Otherwise, the horse must be given with ample paddock or field time in an effort to move around. If your veterinarian decided that anti-inflammatory meds are needed in treating the horse, that is one thing. Runaway inflammation is never a good thing. Masking pain however may bring more harm than good. Pain is the only way that your horse knows it has damaged tissues and it has to be taken care of. The use of drugs may interfere with normal progression from inflammatory response to fast healing.

As for horses that have nagging foot pain as well as stretched white lines, it has to be tested first for insulin resistance and/or Cushing’s disease, which is why you have to see a vet.

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