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Equine care in the Year of the Horse

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By Angela Clendenin

With the Chinese New Year Jan. 31, it is time we recognize the New Year’s Chinese Zodiac: the horse, symbolizing character traits such as intelligence, energy and strength.
While the Chinese Zodiac horse may be strong and full of energy, what happens when yours adopts uncharacteristic behaviors of limited mobility and weakness? Though equine lameness is a problem seen in many horses during their lifetime, there are ways of preventing and treating it to help your horse be as healthy as the Chinese Zodiac horse this year.
Equine lameness, or limping, has different causes. “Some of the common causes are due to a traumatic event, a performance induced injury — such as a strained tendon, or ligament, or pulled muscle — or a wear-and-tear type injuries causing arthritis or bone spurs in joints termed osteoarthritis,” said Dr. Robin Dabareiner, Associate Professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “There are also some causes of lameness that young horses are born with termed ‘developmental bone disease,’ where the cartilage and bones do not form correctly.”
Once recognized, it is important to have a lameness evaluated immediately by a veterinarian.


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