Action Point: Determine which lameness conditions each horse is most at risk for.
Rationale: According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners document Understanding Lameness by Doug Thal, DVM, some horses are more susceptible to lameness based on breed, type, conformation, and discipline. Knowing what these specific conditions are and their signs will increase one’s ability to detect the signs and symptoms of lameness early.
As outlined in the article Conformation in Horses by Christina S. Cable, DVM, common conformation faults that can indicate a horse’s predisposition to lameness include:
- toed-in (pigeon toed)
- toed-out (splay footed)
- carpal valgus (lateral deviation of the carpus – knock knees)
- carpal varus (medial deviation of the carpus – bow legs)
- palmar deviation of the knee (calf knee)
- base narrow (stands close)
- base wide (stands wide)
- offset knees (bench knees)
- straight hocks (post legged)
- large angulation of the hock (sickle hocks)