Moving Beyond the Pain and Swelling of Equine Inflammation

Deeper knowledge of the concept can improve outcomes for horses

Pictured Above: All tissues in the body have cells that are negatively influenced by chronic inflammation. Photo: Tom Schell


Is there more to heat, pain and lameness than meets the eye? Is there a reason why a horse is not responding to therapies? Potentially, yes. A farrier often is the first line of defense in identifying inflammation of the distal limb, and understanding its influence is critical for proper management.

When we think of the concept of inflammation, it is often in the form of distinct pain and swelling. Joint pain, a foot abscess, tendon injury, stiffness, a wound, sore back or even a sore throat. All of these are true and these conditions are associated with inflammation, which is obvious in the form of pain. However, the concept goes much deeper, often undetected clinically, and connected with a host of conditions impacting the horse on many levels. It is an important concept to grasp, because with this knowledge we have opportunities to intervene, improving outcomes and prognoses for that patient.

A Fire Within The Body

The process of inflammation really can be broken down into two categories — acute and chronic. The term acute is usually reserved for situations of less than 30 days, while chronic is assigned to those more than 30 days in length. They really are not distinct from one another and in many cases, an acute condition becomes chronic over time, being more difficult to manage. In many cases of inflammation, we have five general…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.


Tom Schell

Tom Schell, DVM, CVCH is a practicing equine veterinarian, barefoot trimmer, re­search­er and product developer for North Carolina-based Nouvelle Research Inc.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings