Our experienced team conduct lameness investigations either on yard with our modern mobile equipment, or at our facility using our level trot up and lunge pen.
At Hale Equine, we appreciate that lameness is sadly all too common, ranging from the lead rein pony to the successful competition horse. Lameness investigation forms a large part of our workload, and so we have ensured our vets have developed the skills and have the latest tools available to confidently diagnose and treat a wide variety of lameness issues.
Charlie Tomlinson heads up the orthopaedic caseload and is currently studying towards a postgraduate qualification in lameness diagnosis. Katie also has a keen interest in orthopaedic work and will often be booked in with Charlie to help investigate a lameness issue. You can rest assured, however, that the full team are more than capable of dealing with the lame horse in the first instance.
If you believe your horse to be lame, we can make the initial appraisal either via a visit to your yard or using video footage. If the cause of the lameness is not obvious, we may need to perform “nerve blocks” where local anaesthetic is injected around specific nerves to numb out areas of the leg. In this way we can localise the painful area. This may take some hours, meaning we tend to arrange a lameness work-up for more complicated cases, either at your yard if you have facilities for trot up and lunging, or at our premises at Lackham College, where we have a tarmac trot up and lunge pen as well as stocks, stables and a treatment room.
We have invested in the latest diagnostic equipment to help our vets determine the cause of your horse’s lameness, including cordless battery-operated digital radiography and ultrasound machines, which allow x-rays and scans to be taken where a power supply is not available.
We work closely with a variety of major orthopaedic referral surgeons, varying from more local hospitals to those in Newmarket and Liphook, and so will seek opinions and referral for surgical techniques to world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons where appropriate.
In some cases, we may need to refer your horse for more advanced diagnostic tests such as MRI or scintigraphy (bone scan). This can be done quickly and efficiently and in Wiltshire, we are lucky to have access to some very well-respected orthopaedic vets working within a hospital setting.
Our vets are trained in the latest techniques and therapies to get your horse back into work as quickly and safely as possible. Once we have come to a diagnosis, our vets will talk through the treatment options with you and tailor the treatment to your horse’s specific needs.
We have access to and frequently use a Class Four Therapeutic laser and extracorporeal shockwave therapy for conditions that are known to respond well to these treatment modalities. In addition, we employ techniques such as intra-lesional stem cell and PRP therapy in tendons and ligaments and the latest joint medications such as polyacramide gel and primed stem cell treatment, as well as the more commonly used therapies such as intra-articular cortisone and bisphosphonates.
We aim to provide a holistic service for you and your horse, so work closely with local farriers, ACPAT physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors. In addition, Charlie has extra qualifications in veterinary chiropractic and is trained in acupuncture.
We are pleased to offer services which aim to catch issues before they cause a clinical lameness, such as our special offer of foot balance x-rays. We understand the old adage “no foot, no horse” so at a special discount price we can provide your farrier with x-ray views of the feet from the front and sides. These can be invaluable in helping your farrier to trim and balance the feet correctly. Incorrect foot balance is known to be a cause of several lameness issues ranging from splints, check ligament injuries to bone spavin and navicular disease.
We can give you an honest appraisal of the wide variety of nutraceuticals available, such as joint supplements.
Traditional and laser acupuncture are also available to help correct muscle imbalances and tension.