Horses exhibiting heel pain are often diagnosed with navicular syndrome. It is a common â€“ and frustrating â€“ issue to deal with, but it no longer spells immediate retirement for the horse. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, a horse with navicular syndrome may still have a useful life for a considerable period of time. Navicular syndrome is a chronic degenerative condition that can cause lameness in the front legs. It is most commonly seen in competition horses and quarter horses.
Lameness in the horse's stifle joint can result in shortened stride length, reluctance to work or a rough canter. While lameness is more commonly attributed to problems with the hock joint, stifle lameness is seen frequently in performance horses. The stifle is considered the most complex joint in the horse's body with a similar function to the human knee. Stifle injuries can result from repetitive stress, trauma, excessive use, changes in direction and rapid deceleration. Horses engaged in jumping and barrel racing are most at risk of these injuries.
Equine laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition affecting the horse's hooves. Cases of laminitis range in severity from mild foot tenderness to chronic founder, potentially impeding the horse's ability to walk. Laminitis is the bane of any horse owner's existence. Horses affected by laminitis suffer excruciating pain as the soft hoof structures known as lamina become inflamed.