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Discussion on Head bobbing down for hind end lameness?

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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 74
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 - 8:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O,

Just a quick question. My horse came up lame after injuring his hind left. However, the vet thinks he is lame in the left front. I trotted him out on the lunge line for her but she made her assessment very quickly (2 small circles). Given that I watch the horse go all the time and I was having a hard time pinpointing it, I took a video. He looks sound to the left and carries his head normally. To the right he is head bobbing most of the time but what you actually see is him dropping his head when the weight is on the left hind rather than lifting it when the weight goes onto the left front. He will show a few strides without head bobbing where you can tell where he naturally holds his head. Even on the video I did not see any evidence of a hip hike but I think that would be tough to see on a circle (and he has a ton of natural "bounce"). So...my call, given the obvious injury and downward head bob is the left hind. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Lynn
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 75
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 - 8:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some further thoughts and bit more info. I thought if the lameness was in the left hind it would show up when lunged at the trot to the left also, but it doesn't. Hence, the vet is thinking a corn or bruise to the inside of the left front. Although my farrier did remove the front shoe and found no evidence of a bruise and got no reaction when using the shoe pulls as hoof-testers.

Thanks again

Lynn
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25071
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 10, 2010 - 1:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would not use the head bob as a primary way of determining a hind limb lameness LynnL. Though they can be present and thus cause confusion, there should be an associated hip hike. So I would concentrate on the front if you have a head bobbing horse with no signs of lameness behind at least until regional blocking rules out the front.
DrO
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