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Horse Leg and Hoof Conditions

Horse leg and hoof conditions can be a common problem among equines. If caught early, they are largely treatable. Leg conditions can occur because of over training, poor horse conformation, or a lack of balanced trimming or proper shoeing. Some of the symptoms that may be evident with horse leg and hoof conditions include swelling, inflammation, pain, reluctance to run, and lameness. To select the proper treatment regimen for your horse, your veterinarian must first decide from what type of condition your horse is suffering. Lameness, one of the most common horse leg and hoof conditions, can be treated through physical therapy sessions, hot and cold therapy, massage, and therapeutic shoes.

Tendon injuries, also common, are generally a result of overuse or misuse. Basic tendon injuries, if treated immediately, can usually be contained by the use of hot and cold therapy and rehabilitation. If these types of injuries progress to a more serious level, it is very likely that your horse may suffer permanent tissue damage that is largely irreversible.

One of the more common conditions of the equine hoof is Navicular Syndrome. This is characterized by inflammation and/or degeneration of the navicular bone. There is no single, specific cause of this particular horse leg and hoof condition, but it does have distinctive contributing factors in its development. One of these factors is tension placed on the ligaments. Another factor is compression in the general area of the navicular bone. A horse's natural formation, as well as his workload and body weight, all play important roles in the development of Navicular Syndrome. Heel pain is the most common symptom of this horse leg and hoof condition. Additionally, a horse may walk with a tiptoe gait, and may experience some lameness. Any of these symptoms displayed by your horse should be investigated right away by your veterinarian.

All in all, a horse can typically be treated effectively by proper shoeing and anti-inflammatory drug treatments. It may also be helpful to put your horse on a lighter work schedule. Very rarely is surgery required for this type of horse leg and hoof condition. Though overall, most horses treated for horse leg and hoof conditions do recover, it is not guaranteed that your horse will recover to his original point of health. The extent of recovery for horse leg and hoof conditions largely depends on how quickly his symptoms are discovered and how well they are treated by a professional.

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