This information sheet is designed to try and help you, as a horse/pony owner, understand what a lameness work-up at B&W Equine Hospital may entail. Hopefully this will help to reduce the worry you may have about bringing your horse/pony to us.
When a horse/pony is lame, with no obvious cause for the lameness, we often advise a lameness investigation, or ‘work-up’, to try and determine what the cause of the lameness is.
We will allocate a vet to look at your horse/pony. He/she will take some history from you regarding your horse/pony’s background, such as
They will also ask questions about the nature of the current lameness:
We will then perform an initial lameness examination; this may include:
If, following this examination, there is something that suggests a cause of the lameness we may elect to perform the relevant diagnostic imaging procedure straight away such as X-rays and/or ultrasound examination.
If there is no obvious cause of lameness, then we commonly embark on performing a series of ‘nerve blocks’:
Once we have localised the lameness we may:
This is hard to predict!
It depends on:
You are welcome to stay for as much, or as little, of the lameness work-up as you want. We are happy for you to wait with your horse/pony and we will explain what we are doing with each test. It is common for our vets to be working on more than one case at a time and there are periods of time you will have to wait e.g. whilst a nerve block is taking time to work (~10 minutes)
It is possible for you to drop your horse/pony off with us and not stay if this suits you best.
Sometimes it may be necessary for your horse/pony to stay with us overnight (if work-up is taking a long time or we want to perform treatment the following day).
If this is the case, we will discuss how your horse/pony is managed and provide a husbandry form to be completed to ensure your horse is looked after as you request.
We would always discuss the outcome of a lameness work-up with you before undergoing any treatment. The type of treatment is very dependent on the diagnosis but may include:
We may advise more advanced diagnostic tests to provide us with additional information e.g. MRI, CT or bone scan (nuclear scintigraphy).
This is very hard to predict as it depends on how many nerve blocks we perform and what other diagnostic tests we do. It can cost anything from £300+. Insurance companies generally cover lameness work-ups, unless you have a relevant pre-existing exclusion. It is worth informing your insurance company that your horse/pony is under going a lameness work-up.
When wouldn’t we do a lameness work-up?
We hope this helps to explain the lameness work-up procedure but if you have any queries then please contact the hospital on 01453 811867 or firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our vets will be happy to talk to you.