Formulating the appropriate treatment plan is equally as important to diagnosis 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 the lameness must be identified. Considering that verbal communications with the horse are limited, identification of the exact source of lameness can be the most challenging part of a poor performance exam. A thorough lameness evaluation, complete with nerve blocks, is required.
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, 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, magna wave treatment, massage and systemic anti-inflammatory medication.
Critical to the success of any therapeutic plan is an appropriate shoeing/trimming plan for the horse and a case-specific exercise program. These rehabilitative programs must be fluid and the patient examined on regular intervals to monitor progress. PHD Veterinary Services offers both a mobile services and an equine clinic.