Lameness LAB - What Causes Lameness?

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As many horse owners know, identifying and treating lameness in horses can be a frustrating and expensive process. Lameness has been categorized as any alteration in the gait of a horse and can be caused by any number of issues and can manifest itself in many ways… from subtle lameness to complete loss of mobility.

Here is a quick review of equine anatomy. Click on the different tissue layers and scroll over the image to discover part names. (Hint: you can click on some of the parts to learn even more!) Don’t forget to scroll over the pull-tabs to learn the function of the tissues and their associated causes in lameness.

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  Artwork by Ruth Benns  
Did you know?
  Front limbs: • Horses carry 60-65% of their weight on their front limbs
• Most lamenesses are in the front legs due to higher stress and strain from concussive forces
• 90% of front limb lamenesses are in the knee or below
  Hind limbs: • are used for propulsive force needed for galloping and jumping
• 80% of hind limb injuries are in the hock and stifle
Is your horse at a higher risk of becoming lame?
  Roll your mouse over each tab to view description.

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