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The Pros and Cons of Protective Boots

February 2018

The most common piece of protective equipment riders use on their horses is some form of protection for the lower legs. Orthopaedic problems are one of the most common reasons for a veterinarian being called to examine or treat a horse, and this does not really differ between disciplines or level of competition. But, can boots do more harm than good?  The limbs of a horse are the most common site for injury and the lower limbs (below the knee) more common than the upper limbs. The forelimbs are also more likely to be injured than the hindlimbs. 


February 2018

‘Splint’ is the common name given to an inflammatory condition of the splint bones involving injury to the interosseous ligament, or to the periosteum (the soft tissue covering bone) of the splint or adjacent bones.  It usually occurs in young, growing horses involved in heavy training, but can also originate from tearing of the interosseous ligament, external trauma to the bone or as a secondary condition to healing of a fracture. 

How to Avoid Kissing Spines: Lessons from the Old Masters

March 2018

Adams’ 'Lameness in Horses' (1987)1 describes kissing spines as a condition of the vertebral column in horses caused by overlapping and/or impingement of the dorsal spinous processes (DSP) in the thoracic and/or lumbar vertebrae. 

A Different Perspective on Navicular

March 2018

In anticipation of the 2018 Bowker Lectures, which will take place in Sydney, NSW on 13th to 15th April, we revisit the fascinating presentation Prof. Robert Bowker gave at the 2015 Bowker Lectures, titled ‘The Good Foot: The formation of chambers and micro vessels and the effects of vibration’. Using navicular syndrome as a backdrop, Prof. Bowker presented his research findings and practical applications for providing the foot with the environment needed to develop and maintain a sound, functional structure. 

Tying Up in Horses

September 2017

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis, Tying Up, Azoturia, Monday Morning Sickness and Poly Saccharide Storage Myopathy are all names of common muscle metabolism problems.  The scientific name for tying up is rhabdomyolysis, which simply translated means muscle (‘rhabdo’) breakdown (‘lysis’). The causes are several, but the result is the same - muscle cramping. 

Stifle Pain: A Holistic Approach

August 2017

The veterinary chiropractor or osteopath will deal with stifle pain in horses almost on a daily basis. Stifle pain is very common in the equine - be it a primary pathology of the stifle joint or secondary to other influences on the body.  In this article, veterinary chiropractor Dr Grant Harris discusses the chiropractic and osteopathic approach to treating stifle pain and disease.

The Sacroiliac Joint

July 2017

The sacroiliac joint is often considered a potential culprit in cases of vague hind limb lameness or suspected pain in the back or hindquarters. Why is the finger so often pointed at this joint? And, why is it so difficult to pin down as a primary factor in impaired performance?  Although sacroiliac disease is considered a major cause of loss of performance, little is known about the biomechanics of movement of the sacroiliac joint1.  

The Horse's Advocate

July 2017

It had been nine weeks since Cienna had dislocated her shoulder, but when Ang Lea of Horse Fix was called in, the mare was still hobbling on three legs. On top of that, the adjustment in how she was carrying herself was causing secondary problems in her hind end. Cienna’s vet had fixed the dislocation, but referred the owners to Ang for ongoing care. 

Identifying Horses with Laminitis

July 2017

It’s every horse owner’s worst nightmare - arriving home to see your horse standing at the bottom of the paddock, not running up for his evening feed.  You walk down to him, he’s not stuck in the fence, he is standing on all four feet, but shifting his weight from one foot to the next. You put the head collar on, but he is very reluctant to walk. What could be wrong with him?  This is one of the ways that your horse may present with laminitis. Laminitis is the inflammation and subsequent detachment of the bond between the pedal bone and the hoof wall. 

Stifle Lameness

July 2016

The stifle is the largest and most complex joint in the horse and, as such, it is an important cause of hindlimb lameness. Equivalent to the human knee, the stifle is controlled by some of the most powerful muscles in the horse’s hindquarters and is subject to tremendous stress forces. In this comprehensive article, registered specialist equine surgeon Dr Marta Wereszka from the University of Sydney Equine Hospital explains the complex anatomy of the stifle, the diagnostic tools available and some of the treatment options your veterinarian may recommend. Stifle anatomy


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