Friday, 5 February 2010

Left, left, left...

I should caveat this post by saying that most of the horses who come here have displayed a bilateral front limb lameness before they arrived. This has normally been confirmed by nerve blocks - a typical pattern is that the owner asks for a lameness assessment because the horse hasn't been quite right for a while, but the lameness is often intermittent.

At the assessment, the lameness is identified to one limb (usually the left!), but when that limb is blocked out, often the horse shows lameness on the right limb. In other words, both are causing problems, but one is worse than the other, and the worse limb is therefore the one that shows up the problem first.

The interesting thing is that most horses have the left front limb as the worse limb, and if they have a hind limb problem as well (as many do), then the right hind limb is worse.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but all except one of the horses in Project Dexter (and as far as I can remember, all the horses who pre-dated the research), had a worse left than right limb, both in terms of assessed lameness and conformation.

5 comments:

Writergirl said...

That's so interesting, Nic.

When my horse Cordon had his shoes off, we discovered that both his hind feet turned in naturally, but the right was worse than the left. It took him a long time to transition and we had to be careful of his right hind during that time because it changed angle quite radically.

Interestingly, he has one "clicky" joint, and it is his left fore! Makes me wonder if it's not that way from years of compensating for a shod left hind diagonal that was at the wrong angle! Do you think this is possible?

Writergirl said...

Sorry - I mean right hind diagonal!

Nic Barker said...

Its certainly possible - in fact a link is more likely than not, though you may never know which came first.

In some cases, like Hector when he tore his hamstring, a right hind problem can actually look like a left front lameness, just to complicate everything further :-)

cptrayes said...

Tetley was the right front. Never lame though, just very imbalanced with all the weight going down the inside. The hock that went lame first was also his right hind. Which makes me very suspicious about what was actually wrong where!

C

said...

絕不要羞於承認自己不知道的事。 ..................................................