The clinicians at our Diagnostic Centre are very experienced in the investigation of undiagnosed lameness in horses. A clinical examination will be performed in all cases. Diagnostic local analgesia and/or imaging may be performed to localise the source of lameness. You are welcome to speak to us by telephone to discuss the case prior to referral, in order to determine the optimal diagnostic approach. MRI is not a useful screening procedure, whereas scintigraphy may be.
Lameness investigations may be time consuming and it may take more than one full working day to fully investigate a complicated lameness case. Clients should be warned of this and that they may need to leave their horse with us overnight. We run farriery clinics on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays and these are often good days to refer lameness cases that are suspected or known to be associated with foot problems. Otherwise, the only requests that we make prior to referral are that:
The horse is clinically lame at the time of admission. It is frustrating for owners to make long journeys to find that their horse is not lame enough to allow investigation. This sometimes happens if it has been rested for a long time prior to presentation.
All horses coming for lameness examinations should be shod to allow for repeated trotting. The shoes should not be in danger of coming loose and it is preferable for the horse not to have been reshod in the three days prior to examination.
All anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication should be discontinued 48 hours prior to the appointment, unless welfare considerations necessitate their continuing use.