Veterinarians from Colorado and Texas conducted a retrospective study of lameness in Western performance horses describing the location and type of lameness observed.

The data were collected from horses competing at nationally sanctioned shows from 2007-16. Records from 8,823 lameness examinations performed during this period were available for study with 2,677 examinations of 2,521 horses meeting the inclusion criteria of an examination that included diagnostic nerve or joint blocks.

The average horse was 11 years old, with geldings representing about half of the patients with 35% stallions and 12% mares. Forelimb lameness accounted for 56% of cases with almost 70% of those cases of forelimb lameness localized to the distal forelimb with a palmar digital and/or abaxial sesamoid nerve block. In the hind limbs (44% of cases) about 16% of cases localized to the hock with about 9% affecting the stifle. Reining horses most often presented with a single forelimb lameness while all-around Western performance horses most commonly presented with a single hind limb lameness.

— Johnson SA et al. EVJ 2020; in press

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