|Lameness in a horse and types of treatment.|
Another way of establishing lameness is by watching the horse as he moves around the stable or field, paying particular attention to whether he is moving less or more than usual or is over resting a particular leg.
Now that you have worked out which leg is affected try to establish the exact location. A very lame horse is normally injured either in the foot or, less commonly, in the shoulder / hip. If no obvious swelling or heat can be found, check the underside of the foot for bruising or injury particularly if the horse has been recently shod.
If the horse is lame in both front legs it may be due to navicular, laminitis, ringbone or pedal osteitis.
Minor injuries can be treated at home in the following ways:
Cold Hosing – Running cold water over the affected limb for 20 minutes several times a day. This helps to reduce swelling and clean wounds, remember to grease the heels before treatment.
Hot Tubbing – Used on injuries of the lower limb and foot. Fill a bucket half full with hot water and salt and place the foot, (with a greased heel), into the bucket where it should remain for 20 minutes, hot water should be added when required.
Hot Fomentation – Similar to hot tubing but on areas of the leg that cannot be placed in a bucket. Warm two cloths in a bucket of hot water and salt, apply one to the area until the heat is lost out of the cloth and then use the second one while the other warms up again. This should be continued for 20 minutes.
Poulticing – Helpful to reduce inflammation reduces bruising, clean wounds and draw out infections. There are excellent ready-made poultices that can be bought or you can make one of bran mash and salt. Place the poultice in the hoof and cover it by plastic bag or special boot securing it at the fetlock.
The best results are seen when cold and hot treatments are used alternately two or three times a day with poultices in between.
For prolonged or serious lameness veterinary advice should always be sought.
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