Lameness is one of the most commonly identified problems in horses. Many lame horses may have diagnostic procedures performed on farm, but if needed the Central Coast Horse Hospital has stabling and facilities at our clinic in Ourimbah for some of the more involved or time consuming procedures. Equipment and procedures that may be used in determining the location of lameness include:

  • Visual examination:
    Of the horse both standing still and when walked, trotted or lunged
  • Hoof Testing equipment:
    Using pressure or percussion to assess for pain in the hooves

Flexion tests:

These involve flexing the joint being examined for a defined period of time and then walking or trotting the horse to assess whether the flexion has changed the lameness

Nerve or Joint Blocks:

Injection of local anaesthetic over the nerve supplying sensation to an area or into a joint or bursa may result in an improvement in the lameness

Once the lameness has been localised the following equipment may be used to assess the cause of the lameness:

Digital Radiographs:

We use digital x-ray equipment to take high quality images of the area being assessed. Our x-ray machine is portable so may be transported to your farm for emergency radiographs however for most x-ray procedures we recommend transporting your horse to our clinic in Ourimbah.


The most common use of ultrasound machines in lameness examination is to assess the tendons of the limbs (for example assessing ‘bowed tendons’). Ultrasound machines may also be used to assess swellings within the joint spaces or tendon sheaths; or for other soft tissue injuries such as abscesses or muscle injuries. Our ultrasound is portable so may be used ‘on-farm’.

Once the cause of the lameness is determined we will work with you to develop a treatment and management plan.

We also offer consultations with our visiting specialist Dr Nick Kannegieter for horses with lameness requiring surgical treatment.

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8:30am - 7:00pm


8:30am - 1:00pm



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