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Lameness/Sports Medicine

Equine Sports Medicine and Lameness Treatment

Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic is extensively equipped to diagnose and treat sports injuries, lameness issues, and other problems in horses. Along with the experience we offer, we also have various state-of-the-art tools available. Your horse’s health and performance are as important to us as they are to you, which is why we stay on top of advancements in equine sports medicine.

Common Acute and Chronic Injuries in Horses

Whether they regularly compete or are just an occasional riding companion on the farm, horses can develop painful conditions from repetitive movements, conformation (structure) issues, or acute injury, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis, such as
    • ringbone and bone spavin
  • Tendon and ligament injury, such as
    • bowed tendons and degenerative suspensory ligament disease
  • Splints
  • Navicular syndrome
  • Sore back and neck
  • Trauma

Lameness Examinations

The Elkhorn Veterinary Clinic has multiple levels of lameness examinations, which vary in degree and depth according to the horse's needs. For instance, a hoof abscess may be diagnosed by watching the horse walk, using hoof testers, and palpating the leg. More in-depth lameness exams may involve trotting in hand or lunging with the evaluation of movement, conformation, flexion, and the use of joint or regional targeted analgesia (blocks).

Subtle lameness may only be discerned when the horse is under saddle and asked to perform. Our veterinarians are well-versed in all areas of performance and are able and willing to take the time to diagnose these difficult cases, which can be multi-faceted.


Our veterinarians draw upon a range of diagnostic tools including regional and joint blocks, ultrasound, X-ray, endoscopy, and adjunct blood work.

Available Treatments

After diagnosing your horse, we have several innovative options available for treating and managing their condition:

Anti-inflammatory injections
Hyaluronic acid and corticosteroids can be used to improve sore joints and help prevent the onset of joint disease. Before recommending joint therapy, we will need to take radiographs to ensure that injections will not cause further damage to your horse's joint.

Pro-Stride™ APS
Pro-Stride™ APS is a regenerative treatment for horses that concentrates many naturally-occurring healing factors including cells, growth factors, platelets, and anti-inflammatory proteins in the blood. These highly-concentrated proteins are injected into the horse's joint, where they bind to the inflammatory proteins to stop cartilage destruction and pain and promote joint repair and healing.

This treatment requires just one visit for the blood draw, processing, and joint injection. Processing only takes about 20 minutes, after which we can safely inject the processed blood into the affected joint. Along with reducing pain and slowing the breakdown of cartilage, Pro-Stride™ APS is also completely drug-free and holistic. It is also safe for:

  • Young horses
  • Horses with Cushings-PPID
  • Horses suffering from laminitis/founder
  • Insulin-resistant horses

Shockwave therapy
Shockwave therapy is a valuable tool for treating lameness in horses caused by tendon injuries and other orthopedic problems. The application of shockwaves to an affected area can induce greater cell activity and increase circulation to the focal region. 

Therapeutic laser
The use of a therapeutic laser stimulates cell production and healing to improve joint and soft tissue injuries. 

Alternative care
Includes VSMT, Acupuncture, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Equine Sports Medicine