Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hind Limb Bows Outward at Hock When Walking

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If this is a slowly but consistently worsening problem and you are unsure of the cause.
  • If you are considering purchase, be sure to have a purchase exam performed.
  • To ensure a correct diagnosis, have your vet examine the horse.

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • If you want information on how to manage horses of this conformation to reduce the likelihood of lameness.

Occasionally a horse will have an obvious bowing outward of the hock which is noticeable at the walk. When a horse with this conformation bears weight, often there is also an inward twisting of the hoof.

This observation is seen in horses of particular conformation, but it is also associated with certain neurologic conditions and weakness of the hind limbs. In my experience, this is particularly common in older horses that are weak behind (sometimes from presumed spinal cord compression) or in horses that experience chronic pain.

WHAT TO DO

Observe the horse for signs of other abnormal movement, weakness or lameness by walking them in circles to both directions. Observe how the horse’s limbs track at the walk.

Assess the horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), looking for swelling along the neck that could indicate spinal injury, and looking for lack of symmetry of musculature left to right, along the back and top-line.

Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

With the history and physical exam, your vet considers whether the problem is interfering with the horse’s intended use, and whether there is an underlying condition that explains this finding.

One of the most important questions is whether this sign has worsened recently. A neurologic exam may detect neurologic deficits and suggest that additional diagnostics be performed. Corrective shoeing may also reduce the rotation of the lower limb.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending