Click here to enable the accessibility widget for this website (Can also be opened using the Alt+9 Key)

Sport Horse Medicine
& Lameness

Scroll Down

Sport Horse Medicine & Lameness

We have veterinarians who ride and compete in various disciplines including Dressage, Three-Day Eventing, and Jumpers, and we understand your performance horse. We offer tailored conditioning programs and advice based on sound veterinary knowledge and riding experience. We welcome the opportunity to be a part of your show program.

  • Lameness Evaluations

Lameness is traditionally defined as any alteration of the horse’s gait. Most lamenesses typically stem from an issue with the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendon, bones, ligaments, or joints). Our job as your veterinarian is to identify the source of your horse’s lameness and work with you to determine an appropriate, effective course of treatment. An accurate diagnosis is the key to successful treatment of lameness. To do this we take into consideration your horse’s history, an evaluation of the horse at rest and in motion (often under saddle, doing his intended job), perform a thorough hands-on exam, application of hoof testers and joint flexion tests. Diagnostics procedures allow us to isolate the specific location and cause of lameness. These include: diagnostic nerve and joint blocks, digital radiology, digital ultrasound, MRI and blood, joint fluid and tissue samples.  Potential treatments can include acupuncture, arthroscopy, chiropractic, IRAP therapy, joint injections, PRP, stem cell therapy, rehabilitation programs, shockwave therapy, and Tildren. With our advanced technology and equine lameness expertise, we look forward to getting your horse healthy and sound.

Flex 1
  • Pre-Purchase Examinations

If you’re looking at purchasing your next sport horse, we highly recommend you have a pre-purchase exam performed in order to educate yourself on what you’re getting before you make a large expenditure. Follow this link to learn more about Pre-Purchase Examinations.

Pre Purchase 7
  • Lameness Locator

The Lameness Locator is a wireless motion analysis system that can be included in lameness evaluations. Lightweight motion sensors are placed on your horse’s pelvis, RF pastern and poll (head). Sensor movement data is wirelessly transmitted to a tablet which allows for instantaneous results and interpretation. This handheld computer system enables our veterinarians to objectively identify subtle lameness in horses with non-invasive sensors. The provided information indicates the severity of the lameness, which limb/limbs are involved, and at which point in the stride the pain is occurring. A new sensor placed on the rider has recently become available to us. We are excited about being one of the first to use this new technology and are hoping it will assist us in diagnosing even more subtle lamenesses associated with rider weight and saddles. This is not meant to replace the human element of diagnosing equine lameness, it is a wonderful supplemental tool that can pick up on minute changes that the human eye may miss.

Lameness Locator
  • Artemis™ Laser Therapy

The Artemis™ is a powerful therapy device which allows for continuous energy waves which allow incredible depths of penetration, photomechanical effects, and bio-stimulation. It is used to treat patients for Rapid Inflammatory Mitigation (RIM), Noninvasive Regenerative Therapy (NRT), and Minimally Invasive Surgical Ablation (MISA). This therapy is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions, some of which include tendon/ligament injuries, nerve damage, acute injuries, and inflammation.

  • Digital Radiology

Digital radiology is used to view images of bone, joints and occasionally soft tissue and is an extremely useful tool for diagnosing and treating lameness. Follow this link to learn more about digital radiology.

Radiology Main Aka Diagnostics
  • Digital Ultrasound

Digital ultrasound allows us to diagnose and monitor soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments. This allows you to get started on a rehabilitation schedule sooner and on your way to returning your horse to its intended use.

Ultrasound Aka Dr  Hay Staff Photo
  • IRAP Therapy

IRAP (Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) is a relatively new therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis in horses. The process uses the horse's own cells that are processed and injected back into the joint to help control pain and inflammation. Our facility has the experience and equipment to be able to process IRAP on site, allowing for quality control and faster treatment. Tryon Equine's veterinarians will draw blood from your horse then incubate and process the IRAP injection doses. The doses are then frozen and stored at the hospital until needed. Normal treatment is three injections 7-10 days apart in conjunction with a rehabilitation program. Average yield is 4 to 5 doses, the spare doses can be held for later injection. Tryon Equine's doctors will be happy to discuss with you this procedure and its benefits and the best plan for your horse's particular needs.

  • Joint Injections

Joint injections can be very helpful in treating horses with osteoarthritis and joint inflammation resulting from normal wear and tear or trauma. This therapy has been found to aid in the healing process and help alleviate your horse’s pain. It is commonly used to treat lameness and stiffness. It can be a beneficial treatment for horses from all walks of life: racehorses, jumpers, western, trail riders, etc. The most common therapies we use are directed towards preserving normal joint function such as Hyaluronic Acid (e.g. HyVisc, Hylartin-V) and triamcinolone. In cases of advanced arthritis of the lower hock joints steroids may be used. Newer joint therapies include IRAP (Interluekin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein) and Stem Cell therapy.

Joint Injection
  • Pro-stride APS

Pro-stride APS is one of the newest joint therapy options for horses. It involves a single injection of a regenerative medicine product shown to offer pain relief for up to one year, per treatment. This natural, steroid-free treatment avoids any unwanted side-effects associated with traditional steroid joint injections. It is also safe for use in young horses; and Cushings, Laminitis/Founder and Insulin Resistant (IR) horses.

  • Radiographic Consultation

​Tryon Equine Hospital is pleased to offer a radiographic consultation service to our clients and referring veterinarians. Our vets are happy to review radiographs for our clients before they purchase their next horse. For our referring vets, we are more than willing to review your radiographs and provide you with a knowledgeable second opinion to help with your diagnosis. To setup a radiographic consultation, email us your radiographs and title it attention to the doctor whose expertise you require. Provide as much information as possible in the body of the email and our vets will be happy to email or call you with their prognosis promptly after reviewing the radiographs.

Rad Consult 0
  • Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cell Therapy & PRP)

Stem Cell Therapy is the harvesting of either fat or bone marrow cells from the horse. The sample is then shipped to a laboratory where the stem cells are grown in culture.

The stem cells are then shipped back to the hospital where they are injected under ultrasound guidance directly into the soft tissue lesion. This technique allows for greater accuracy and benefit in healing.
We have seen great success in improved healing of severe soft tissue injuries with stem cell therapy. Stem cell is not used in all soft tissue injuries; however, injuries with a core lesion or severe tear are the best candidates. Talk to one of Tryon Equine's veterinarians about specific options for your horse. We can scan the area to determine the best plan for your horse's recovery.

PRP is used to treat a variety of soft tissue (tendon and ligament) injuries. PRP is processed from the horse’s blood by separating the platelet-rich plasma portion; it is then immediately injected into the actual lesion to promote faster and stronger healing.

Stem Cell
  • Rehabilitation Programs

Here at Tryon Equine we are dedicated to getting your horses sound and back to doing what they love. Our doctors have extensive experience in developing a rehabilitation program specific to your horse’s needs. Your horse’s rehab program specific to his/her own needs may involve a combination of trot sets, hand walking, AquaTred Therapy, small paddock time, treadmill work, etc. Still Creek Farm, a rehabilitation facility located next door to Tryon Equine Hospital, provides AquaTred Therapy to recovering equines. 

Tryon Equine’s doctors possess the knowledge and experience to develop specific rehabilitation programs for multiple disciplines. We also have doctors trained in both acupuncture and chiropractic should your horse’s rehabilitation program require these services. Doctor designed sports specific conditioning and cross training is key to your horse’s continued soundness.

Aquatred 1
  • Shockwave Therapy

ESWT – Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is used to promote healing in horses with musculoskeletal problems, bone injuries and soft tissue injuries. The shockwaves generated through shockwave therapy are pressure waves that can be focused on the skin surface or to a specific tissue depth. ESWT has been proven to increase blood flow, relieve pain, increase tissue regeneration and promotes new blood vessel development. Shockwave therapy was originally used in human medicine and is now used to treat many equine musculoskeletal disorders including: tendon injuries, splints, navicular syndrome, suspensory ligament injuries, sesamoid and carpal fractures, back pain, and fibrotic myopathies.

Laser 2
  • Tildren

Tildren is a relatively new treatment for equine lameness. It has beneficial effects in modifying bone remodeling and it has anti-inflammatory effects.

What is Tildren?
Tildren is a bisphosphonate, composed of Tiludronic Acid, which modifies bone resorption in horses. Bone is continuously being remodeled (reshaped) by bone breaking down and rebuilding in order to adapt to the biomechanical stresses that horses encounter in their everyday work/play and encounter in their environment. When exposed to excessive stresses, which many of our equine athletes are, bone remodeling can occur at an increased rate. When this happens osteoblasts, the cells which rebuild the bone, are created at a slower rate than osteoclasts, the cells which resorb the bone. This causes the bone to become less dense in areas most subjected to physical stress.

How is it used?
Tildren and similar drugs are used in human osteoporosis and were designed to inhibit osteoclast activity in order to reduce bone resorption. Tildren also demonstrates anti-inflammatory benefits in arthritis by inhibiting the effects of enzymes which degrade the cartilage surface of joints.  Tildren is administered intravenously making it a systemic treatment which can treat multiple areas of osteoarthritis.

Is my horse a candidate?
At Tryon Equine, we have used Tildren for many years now, and have seen excellent results with respect to equine athletic soundness. Before treatment our veterinarians must first determine if your horse is a candidate by performing a full lameness exam (flex, jog, nerve blocks, etc.) and utilizing the proper diagnostics (digital radiology, MRI, blood work, etc.) to diagnosis the source of the lameness. Once this is determined, your veterinarian will discuss the best possible treatment methods to get your horse healthy and sound again.

Sports Medicine Small