Diagnosing Fetlock Disease in Racehorses

One veterinarian weighs the pros and cons of available imaging modalities when it comes to diagnosing common fetlock injuries.
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Diagnosing Fetlock Disease in Racehorses
The equine fetlock is an amazingly complex, fist-sized structure that supports heavy loads. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Katie Garrett

The equine fetlock is an amazingly complex, fist-sized structure that supports heavy loads. This is particularly true in racehorses running frequently at high speeds, making it a common site of injury in this horse population.

As part of the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit webinar series, Katie Garrett, DVM, Dipl. ACVS-LA, from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, described how veterinarians use imaging modalities to diagnose fetlock issues and the common injuries they might find.

Fetlock Anatomy

Garrett emphasized that much of understanding diagnostic imaging is knowing your anatomy—she briefly reviewed the structures within the fetlock joint

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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.

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