Atlantic Equine Services specializes in lameness examinations and equine sports medicine. Our practice is limited to lameness diagnosis, treatment and sports medicine. Our vets are focused on keeping your horse in top condition and we have the latest technology available for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
A lameness examination typically begins with a thorough palpation of your horse, identifying areas of heat, swelling, and/or soreness. The horse will next be examined in motion, both on a straight line as well as on a longe line. Flexion tests will be performed which allow us to apply stress and pressure to specific joints while we narrow down the source of discomfort. Your horse may also be examined under saddle, especially in the case of subtle lameness or poor performance.
DIAGNOSTIC NERVE BLOCKS
Diagnostic nerve blocks may be utilized in order to accurately pinpoint the region of the horse causing the lameness or discomfort. Nerve blocks are administered systematically from the lowest site on the horse’s leg upwards. Nerve blocks desensitize all structures lower than the level at which they are administered. When administered systematically, nerve blocks can very accurately isolate the anatomical location of the source of the horse’s lameness.
Once an area of interest is isolated through physical examination, flexion tests and/or nerve blocks, diagnostic imaging is utilized to make the final diagnosis of the area of injury in the horse. Digital x-rays (radiographs) enable us to get an excellent view of bones and joints, as well as the areas of the bone where tendons and ligaments insert. Ultrasound is also a highly portable imaging modality that is used on the farm for imaging soft tissue structures such as tendons and ligaments as well as bone and joints. If the results of nerve blocks and/or imaging on the farm are inconclusive, your horse may be referred for advanced diagnostic imaging including bone scan, CT or MRI. We have excellent relationships with referral hospitals offering these imaging modalities and will stay in direct contact with you and the hospital if your horse needs to have any of these additional tests performed.