Equine Lameness with Dr. Dylan Lutter

(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsin’ Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center, today joined by Dr. Dylan Lutter. Thank you for joining us here today. (Dylan) Thanks for having me. (Chris) Dr. Lutter is one of the Equine Boarded Surgeons we have here at the vet school and does predominantly a lot of the emergency work here in the evenings and weekends here at Kansas State Veterinary Health Center. (Dylan) Yep. (Chris) So, one of the important things I think that some owners always are wondering, what’s the next thing to do or what they should do is the aspect of topic, non-weight bearing lameness. Meaning the horse is not bearing weight on a certain limb. Obviously they could be very nervous when trying to figure some of this out. Or maybe they may not be and maybe they should. Could you just go over maybe some possibilities if a horse isn’t putting weight on a limb or a leg? (Dylan) Sure. Well, first of all it’s very distressing to have your horse that should be standing on four legs and it’s standing on three. And it’s important to have in mind what the top things that could be going on and one of the most common things that I am sure most horse owners are aware of are just a common hoof abscess can cause that. And that can be very simply remedied you know, with paring it out. Otherwise some things that warrant it being worth being looked at by a veterinarian are potentially life threatening like a fracture in the distal limb or potentially an infected joint. Maybe the horse stepped on a nail and you may or may not be able to see the nail. Even things like rupture of a ligament or a tendon could cause that. And that’s important to not ignore and to get checked out. (Chris) So, I think one of the things a lot of owners are, “Oh, it’s just an abscess.” Well it could be, but there’s also other things that could be arisen and getting your veterinarian involved as soon as possible when you have that I think is something to keep in mind. So, if we kind of look a little bit closer at some of those options and hoof abscess you know is one of them. But what about septic joint? How would the joint get infected? Maybe just of a distal limb or of an adult horse usually? (Dylan) Sure. Well the most common way is from a wound that maybe the horse kicks through the side of the barn or into the fence and gets a laceration into the joint. Or maybe even gets poked by a stick and you can’t even see the wound. That would be I would say, 75-80 percent of the time. But sometimes the horse just gets sick. They get bacteria in their blood and it actually travels to the joint and sets an infection there. (Chris) Hmmm. I think that’s something that always owners need to remember, if they get a wound, even if the wound is very small, depending on location it could be fairly severe. (Dylan) Yea. (Chris) So getting the veterinarian involved with that too. And the other one is just fractures. And those things you hope you never have or see. What would be the biggest thing that the owner would need to make sure as they get to the veterinarian, or moving the horse around, or what kind of the things the owner should know if they’re worried about fracture? (Dylan) Definitely if they’re worried about fracture I would say, as long as they’re in a safe spot for the horse, not to let it move around too much. Because the more that distal limb moves the more damage it’s doing to the area and could affect how things go forward if you’re able to fix it. So, just kind of keep the horse quiet and calm. (Chris) Good, so I think the biggest thing is, don’t necessarily move the horse, assess the situation, communicate with your veterinarian and then you can always give us a call if you ever have other questions too as things arise of a non-weight bearing lameness. (Dylan) Yep, we’re here 24/7. (Chris) Alright, well thank you Dr. Lutter. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State Veterinary Health Center and we’ll see you around.

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