Contusions also known as bruises are caused by blunt trauma to a horse's head, body or leg. When a horse takes a direct blow to its body, the underlying structures (like muscles and blood vessels) can be damaged or broken.
Carpitis is inflammation of the soft connective tissues on the surface of the bones of the carpus of a horse. The horse carpus is the equivalent of the human knee joint. This inflammation can involve the fibrous joint capsule, synovial membrane, and associated ligaments and bones of the carpus.
Lameness is an abnormal gait caused by a dysfunction of the muscles, joints, or bones. Lameness is extremely common in horses, and is the most common cause of “loss of use” in performance horses
Joint swelling is a common symptom in horses and has a variety of causes.
Limited mobility (LM) in horses is defined as a reduction in agility and/or movement, and is a condition that mainly affects senior and geriatric horses (over 18 years of age).
Lack of coordination, or ataxia, results from damage to the brain or spinal cord causing erratic and unstable movements.
Exercise intolerance is the decreased ability to tolerate strenuous exercise. Exercise intolerance is one of the first signs of exhaustion
Nasal discharge is an excretion of fluids from one or both nostrils. It varies in intensity and severity in horses, from clear to discolored and from innocuous to life threatening
Joint infections are infections found in the joints of horses which cause pain, inflammation, fever, and lameness. Joint infections are always an emergency and require immediate medical assistance.
Laminitis refers to inflammation of the lamellae, the support structure that holds the coffin bone in place within the hoof capsule. The lamellae are extremely sensitive, making laminitis a very painful condition.
Peeling or sloughing skin in horses is characterized as an area of the body where the skin has begun to lose its surface layer. Generally appears as flaking or patches of skin that are missing or damaged.
Hypothermia happens when the core body temperature drops below normal. Hypothermia is a rare condition in horses, and it is usually caused by environmental accidents such as falling into a frozen body of water.
Muscle twitching and cramping, also referred to as “tying up”, are symptoms that appear from painful and continuous muscular contractions. During a severe episode, horses might refuse to move and suffer from extreme pain.
Swollen legs, sometimes referred to as “stocking up,” are a noticeable increase in the size of the legs, giving affected horses the appearance of a “fat leg”. If leg swelling is accompanied with pain, heat, or lameness, it requires emergency veterinary attention.
Nosebleeds (epistaxis) are common in horses, and may stem from infections, cancers, foreign objects, injuries, or exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. Nosebleeds may present acutely or chronically, and range from drops of blood falling from one nostril to a stream of blood from both.
Recumbency describes a horse who is lying down, unable to rise. Recumbent horses are typically laying flat on their side, but some may be able to sit up on their chest. Recumbency may be caused by a wide variety of conditions, including injuries, degenerative diseases, inflammatory diseases, tumors, infectious diseases, toxicosis, and neurological conditions.
Seizures are characterized by uncontrolled muscle movement and spasming, which may affect a horse’s entire body or be localized to a smaller group of muscles. Seizures are rare in horses, but have a variety of causes including injuries, infections, toxicoses, metabolic imbalances, or disorders affecting the brain.