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A Neck-Related Issue or a True Forelimb Lameness?

April 2018 by Nicky Suckle, BSc (Hons), Masters (Veterinary Physiotherapy), www.mooloolabaphysiotherapist.com.au

A neck related issue or a true forelimb lameness? That is the question… 

In this article, equine physiotherapist Nicky Suckle provides a complete overview of neck and forelimb injury and pain, including common causes and treatment options for the equine.

Neck and forelimb injuries are very common in horses and, often, a neck issue is misdiagnosed as a primary forelimb lameness. 

Anatomy of the spine 

There are seven cervical vertebrae in a horse, 18 thoracic and six lumbar (sometimes only five), five sacral vertebrae (fused) and approximately 20 caudal vertebrae making up the tail. The whole spine is linked together by a series of muscles and ligaments.