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The pastern joint, also known as the proximal interphalangeal joint, is a relatively common source of lameness in horses. Degenerative joint disease/arthritis of this joint is commonly referred to as high ringbone. Low ringbone refers to the same type of degenerative joint disease of the coffin joint and is much less common.
The prognosis for horses with laminitis is very hard to predict. Severity of the radiographs doesn’t always correlate well with the amount of lameness seen clinically. The best way to guarantee the highest level of success is to assemble a team of experts including your farrier, veterinarian and trainer. While we are a long way off from a full understanding of the disease, advances in management of Laminitis are occurring at a steady pace.
It is an exciting time to be a veterinarian who makes his/her living by diagnosing and treating lameness in horses. Our ability to diagnose lameness has improved dramatically over the past decade with the explosion of technology available. Several newer therapies are now available for certain lameness conditions, and are a nice addition to the therapeutic options available.
After Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro underwent surgical repair of a severe fracture many equine veterinarians were hearing the same statement “I didn’t think you could fix a broken leg in a horse”. The truth is some you can and some you cannot.
Horses, as we all know, have many special abilities. Among the less dramatic, but no less important, of these abilities is their ability to sleep standing up. Horses have a complex system called the passive stay apparatus that allows them to do this while using minimal muscular effort. One of the keys to this system is the ability to lock the kneecap (patella) in place, which keeps the stifle extended. Normally, the horse can lock and unlock the patella with no resistance.