Some Endurance Horses Lacking in Lameness Care, Study Shows
“If an endurance horse goes lame, owners should get the lameness investigated as soon as possible to allow timely diagnosis, targeted treatment, and hopefully earlier return to work,” said Annamaria Nagy, DrMedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, FRCVS, of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K.
Nagy worked with fellow researchers Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of clinical orthopedics at the AHT, and Jane K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD, of the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science. They reviewed questionnaires completed by endurance riders about veterinary problems. Results showed that 80% of the 190 horses ridden by the respondents had a lameness issue affect their endurance career. More than half had been lame within the last year.
Respondents described the most recent lameness episode in detail for 147 horses, Nagy said. Veterinarians identified 76% of those lameness cases, and 56% of the cases resulted in elimination from a race. Of the cases initially identified by a veterinarian, only 52% were further investigated and/or treated by a veterinarian, the team found. When the lameness hadn’t been identified by a veterinarian, it was the farrier, trainer, chiropractor, or rider who noticed it. In some cases the horse was lame on two limbs and in one case on all four
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