Lameness Evaluation & Treatment


Diagnosing Lameness

Diagnosis of lameness in the horse is both an art and a science, and is often a complex, multifaceted process. Burke Equine benefits from Dr. Burke’s many years as a veterinarian at east coast racetracks, working with top racehorses to fine-tune even the most subtle types of orthopedic and soft tissue conditions.

Solving the Lameness Puzzle

At Burke Equine, lameness evaluation begins with a comprehensive discussion from the referring veterinarian, owner, rider, and trainer. This is followed by a physical exam, typically consisting of visual assessment both in-hand and under saddle on varying surfaces, as well as diagnostic analgesia to pinpoint the injury location. Realizing that the most elusive lamenesses are sometimes best assessed by the rider, Dr. Burke works closely with his team of professional riders to identify any gait abnormalities during work. Once a diagnosis is reached, Burke Equine develops a thorough treatment plan, which may include:

  • Graduated exercise program using AquaPacer water treadmill.
  • Cold salt spa therapy.
  • Monitored turn out for increasing durations.
  • European walker or hand-walking.

As recovery progresses and condition is re-assessed, treatment may then evolve to include:

  • Controlled exercise under saddle, in ring on on track.
  • Gradual increase to normal exercise routine.
  • On-site conditioning for competition.