How to Measure Back Pain in Horses

When a horse shows signs of poor performance, rearing or bucking under saddle, and sensitivity when grooming, an owner might conclude that he has a sore back. But when is an issue truly back pain, and when is it secondary to another orthopedic issue? One veterinarian weighs in.
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

back pain in horses
When diagnosing back pathology in horses, there is no gold standard test or objective system of quantifying that pain, Fiske-Jackson said—it’s as much about ruling things out as it is in. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Andrew Fiske-Jackson

When a horse shows signs of poor performance, rearing or bucking under saddle, sensitivity when grooming, and being cold-backed, the owner often jumps to the conclusion that he has a sore back. When is an issue truly back pain, however, and when is it secondary to another orthopedic issue?

Andrew Fiske-Jackson, BVSc, MVetMed FHEA, Dipl. ECVS, MRCVS, senior lecturer in equine surgery at the Royal Veterinary College’s Equine Referral Hospital, in the U.K., tried to answer this question during the 2018 British Equine Veterinary Association Congress, held Sept. 12-15, in Birmingham.

When diagnosing back pathology in horses, there is no gold standard test or objective system of quantifying that pain, he said. “It’s as much about ruling things out as it is in

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Has your veterinarian used SAA testing for your horse(s)?
95 votes · 95 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!