The musculoskeletal system allows your horse to move around in their environment. The anatomical design of the bones and muscles of the horse reflect the unique needs of the species.

  • Intricate system of strong, light-weight tendons in the limbs to allow fast movement of the horse’s large body
  • Sophisticated hoof design to absorb the pressures caused by the weight of the horse while moving
  • Stay apparatus , a sophisticated network of muscles and tendons of the front and hind limbs, allows the horse to stand for long periods of time with minimal effort. The ability to rest while standing allows the horse to escape faster if a predator arrives unexpected.

Abnormalities of the musculoskeletal system include injuries (acute or chronic) and/or conformation problems.

  • Conformation abnormalities

Congenital: Angular limb deformities, Clubfoot

Acquired: Knock knees, Bow legged, Cow-hocked; Upward fixation of the patella

  • Degenerative conditions

Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)/Osteochondrosis: Shoulder; Stifle; Hock

Osteoarthritis develops in overly stressed joints over time. Bucked shins. Splints. Bone Spavin.

Patellar chondromalacia

  • Fractures

Forelimb: Humerus; Radius/Ulna; Carpus; Metacarpals; Splint bones; Sesamoid; First phalanx; Second Phalanx; Third Phalanx; Navicular bone

Hindlimb: Femur; Patella; Tibia; Tarsus, Calcaneus; Metatarsals; Splint bones; Sesamoid; First phalanx; Second Phalanx; Third Phalanx; Navicular bone

SpineCervical; Thoracolumbar; Sacrum; Coccyx

  • Hoof problems

Corns, Cracks, Quittor, Sheared heels, Sidebone

Laminitis (Founder)

Sole abscess, bruise

  • Infectious diseases : viral, bacterial, Rickettsial; septic arthritis; osteomyelitis
  • Metabolic and nutritional disorders predispose to injury
  • Soft tissue (muscle and/or tendon) injuries and inflammatory conditions

ForelimbBicipital bursitis, Sweeney, Superior check ligament strain, Bucked shins, Suspensory Ligament Desmitis/Rupture, Inferior Check Ligament Desmitis, Bowed tendons, Sesamoiditis, Chronic proliferative synovitis, Osselets, Ringbone, Pedal osteitis, Buttress foot, Navicular syndrome/disease

HindlimbHip dislocation; Round ligament rupture; Whorlbone lameness (Trochanteric bursitis); Myopathy: fibrotic and ossifying; Meniscal Tears (stifle); Peroneus Tertius Rupture; Thoroughpin (DDF tenosynovitis), Curb (Tarsal Plantar Desmitis); Cunean Bursitis; Bog Spavin; Stringhalt; Capped hock; Hock dislocation

SpineSacroiliac dislocation

Myositis: bacterial, viral

Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (Monday Morning Sickness)

  • Cancer

Surgical intervention may be needed in some cases of musculoskeletal disease. Recovery from musculoskeletal disease or injury requires a combination of pain management, farrier work, exercise restriction, rehabilitatitive care, and nutritional evaluation.

Muskego Animal Hospital

fax: 262-679-3115
S80 W19055 Janesville Road
Muskego, WI 53150
Monday-Thursday: 8AM until 6PM
Friday 8AM-5PM
Saturday: 9AM until 12PM

Wind Lake Animal Hospital

fax: 262-895-4536
7835 S. Loomis Road
Wind Lake, WI 53185
Monday through Friday 8AM until 5PM
Saturday: 9AM until 12PM
*Evening appointments available by request*