الأربعاء 24 أبريل 2024

Hind Leg Problems in Horses

موقع أيام نيوز

Causes Treatment and Prevention
Before learning about some of the most common hind leg problems horses can develop its helpful to understand a little about the underlying structures of the leg and how it should function normally.
The stifle is the joint lying under the heavy muscle at the top of the back leg where the leg almost meets the belly. It is roughly equivalent to a human knee. A horses actual knee is more like our wrist joint. There are several ligaments that control how the stifle moves and these are attached to some very strong muscles that run upward along the horses femur and downwards along the tibia. Like all joints in the horses body this joint is surrounded by a lubricating pad of nutrientrich joint fluid which helps as a lubricant to keep the joint bending smoothly. Along with this fluid the menisci a thick pad of cartilage acts as a shock absorber for the joint.
Muscles tendons and ligaments run along the long tibia and smaller fibula to the hock joint. The hock joint is another hingelike joint about halfway down the horses back leg. The small bone that forms the point of the hock is actually similar to the human heel bone. Six small bones make up this joint and it is often the site of strain and wear and a common location for arthritis.



There is no muscle below the hock joint which is why the canon bone and splint bone feel hard with little cushioning. Its also why this area is susceptible to injury with only ligaments and tendons running down to the pastern joint.
Stringhalt
Stringhalt is the overflexing of one or both back legs. It looks as if the horse is taking very high steps with the back legs. The horse will snap the hoof upwards and then stomp down. The flexing can be more subtle however appearing occasionally and can be more obvious when the horse is asked to step back or turn sharply.
There are different types of stringhalt. Australian stringhalt is thought to be caused by a toxic weed. False stringhalt may be caused by injury in the lower leg. The cause of unilateral and bilateral stringhalt is not known although it is suspected to be associated with conditions of the nervous system 1
Treatment sometimes includes removing a small section of the tendon. Sometimes stringhalt improves on its own sometimes it will get worse and some