Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hind-End Leans or Falls to One Side, One Hind Limb Seems Weak

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

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

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If you feel the problem is severe or has come on suddenly.

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

  • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

Horses that are weak on one hind limb will tend to lean the hind-end to that direction when standing. These horses also tend to crab-walk, an observation that is discussed in a separate record.

This observation is more common in older horses. The most common reason that a horse is weak on one hind limb is neurologic dysfunction in that limb, or spinal cord compression. Pain and chronic lameness can result in this observation as well.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE). Look carefully at the neck and back for evidence of swelling. Pay special attention to the way the horse moves. Do you notice lameness at the walk or trot? Walk the horse forward and in left and right circles, paying particular attention to their coordination and limb placement. Are they walking forward normally or not?

Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will evaluate the horse’s general health, and seek to rule out neurologic and musculo-skeletal problems.

POSSIBLE TREATMENTS or TherapiesTo Lessen or Resolve the Sign

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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