Lameness is an abnormal gait of the horse. The severity of the lameness can be divided into 5 categories that go from grade 1 (inconsistent and difficult to identify) to grade 5 (non-weight bearing). Numerous pathologies of the locomotor apparatus can cause lameness.
The key to successful treatment is to determine the precise location of the damage. To do so, veterinarians perform flexion tests and nerve/joint blocks: when the painful zone is desensitized the lameness will decrease in intensity. Imaging examination such as x-rays, ultrasound and MRI can then be done to identify the nature of the lesion and make a treatment plan.