Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dragging Toe in Horse with gait change - Chiropractor for horses mass


Many times an owner will tell me that their horse’s front leg is toeing out or in. To start with you must remember that a horse carries more weight on their front legs and this issue can really hurt your horse.

The first issue that needs to be checked is shoeing if indeed your horse is shod of course. There may me an imbalance caused by the shoes. If your horse is barefoot then when was the last time your trimmer came out to check and trim your horse’s feet? Remember any hoof imbalance can cause a toe to rotate. One easy way for you to tell is by looking at the coronet. Is this line parallel to the ground or is it angled? I had one horse recently that had a rear leg rotation on every step he took; it turned out to be a shoeing issue. This poor horse was getting sore hocks and hips and everyone wanted to inject the hocks. Sometimes you need to look a little deeper into the reason why the biomechanics [how your horse moves] is at fault and not just treat the symptoms.

If the feet check out fine then there may be a fetlock, knee or shoulder issue [we are of course talking front legs] not to forget there may even be a neck or wither problem. When the animal chiropractor checks out your horse they look at all these joints to come up with a cause and thus adjust the main joint that is at fault.

The fetlock on a horse is anatomically similar to your knuckle and the knee is similar to your wrist. These joints can lock up and small movements may be hindered and the horse will toe in or toe out to compensate.

The shoulder is similar to your shoulder except for the fact that there is no clavicle [collar bone]. The shoulder is comprised of a humerus and scapula [shoulder blade]. There are no boney attachments to the shoulder so the entire joint is suspended in muscle; this fact makes it possible for the horse to have much more mobility than we do. This mobility combined with the increased weight placement on the front legs make it more likely

account and give your horse the best opportunity to improve.

that a fixation [stuck joint] may occur in the shoulder. Shoulder fixations can lead to diminished front leg extension and toe rotation. The picture in the article depicts me adjusting a fixed shoulder joint.

To add to this entire scenario there may even be a hind end problem in the low back or pelvis [sacroiliac joint] which can cause compensation on the front end.

A full chiropractic evaluation will take all of these topics into