Formulating the appropriate treatment plan is equally as important as diagnosing the cause of “poor” performance. The majority of equine patients evaluated for waning performance are typically diagnosed with some degree of lameness and the exact source of that discomfort must be identified. Considering that verbal communications with the horse are limited, identification of the exact source of lameness can often times require nerve blocks and thorough jogging evaluations.
Common sources of lameness in horses include osteo-arthritis and tendon/ligament inflammation. The identification of degenerative joint disease or arthritis often results in a discussion regarding intra-articular therapies. These range from corticosteroids to regenerative therapies including PRP, IRAP, and stem cells. Ligament and tendon inflammation can be managed with intra-lesion injections (regenerative therapies), extra-corporeal shockwave, cold salt water spa, laser treatment and topical anti-inflammatories. Additionally, generalized or focal muscle soreness may also contribute to poor performance in equine patients and these conditions can be managed with shockwave treatment, massage and systemic anti-inflammatory medication.
Critical to the success of any therapeutic plan is an appropriate shoeing/trimming regimen for the horse and a case-specific conditioning program. These rehabilitative programs must be fluid and the patient examined on regular intervals to monitor progress. PHD Veterinary Services offers these services both on the road and here at our clinic.