From torn tendons and damaged joints to bumps and bruises, horses can get hurt pretty quickly, and the saddest part is that you may never know unless you know what to look for. The signs can be subtle and, most often, no swellings to indicate the spot where the injury happened. If there are no swellings, no limping, no cuts, visible bruises, or any indication that your equine is injured, how do you tell that there is a problem?
If you live in Fort Collins, CO, then you are in luck because you can speak to Dr. Michael Suit, a highly-qualified equine veterinarian who can help you identify the problem you are looking for before administering treatment. So, what criteria do veterinarians use to locate injuries in horses? And what should you do or observe? Here are three main signs that your horse may need therapeutic care immediately.
Limp or Unusual Gait
Take your equine friend for a short walk and carefully pay attention to the strides. If the horse is walking in an unfamiliar manner, it could be to help ease the pain and avoid putting pressure on a specific area or possibly a leg injury. Be sure to trot the horse around, if the injury is not too bad, your equine should be walking as usual. It's essential to note that there are injuries that your horse may try to hide, ignore, and show no signs at all. However, you will notice a problem when your horse won't take up speeds like it does when uninjured.
There is an Unequal Distribution of Weight
If your horse is injured on a particular limb, there is a likelihood that it will not put any weight on it. Carefully check the way it is standing and determine whether all of the legs are bearing the weight evenly as required. If the leg is too painful, the horse may try to lift it so that it doesn't come into contact with the ground. If your veterinarian determines your horse has joint or muscle injuries, the chances are that you may need to get some knee boots.
You Can Spot a Clear Surface Abrasion
It is prevalent for a horse to get minor scrapes and cuts once in a while. However, if you or your veterinarian notices a deep cut, some bleeding or an abrasion that may seem infected, make sure that it is treated immediately. That will ensure that the animal recovers faster and reduce the chances of infection, which can take longer to heal.
When to Call a Veterinarian
While minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises can be easy to treat and may not need too much attention, it is always prudent to speak with a qualified veterinarian like Michael J. Suit to check for muscle injuries, poor performance, and lameness. Call us today at (970) 218-7947 or you can visit us at Michael J. Suit, DVM, LLC, in Fort Collins, CO, and we will help you find out what is disturbing your equine friend.