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Thankfully most lameness incidents are reasonably straight forward and can be resolved fairly simply.
For those that are more prolonged or complicated it may become necessary to investigate the cause more closely.
Before resorting to imaging the effected area it is necessary to know where the effected area is.This may be achieved using strategic use of local anaesthetics.Small blebs of local anaesthetic are placed close to nerves which are responsible for sensation in an area under examination.Often we will start at the lowest point of the limb and work upwards until the lameness is improved sufficiently that we know where the pain is.
This may sometimes need to be followed by local anaesthetic into a joint space or tendon sheath.
Once localised we can then resort to xrays or ultrasound examinations of the effected area.In this way we aim to diagnose the cause of lameness and hence provide treatment and advice on the likely outcome for your horse.
To perform the above we need two important things.
One is a horse that is lame enough to enable us to judge an improvement when we place the local anaesthetic in the affected area.
The other is a horse whose temperament is suitable to allow us to place needles repeatedly in various places in the limb.
This process can be very time consuming.