Preventing Back Pain in Your Horse
For horses, back pain typically originates from neurological pain such as a pinched nerve or musculoskeletal pain. Some typical causes include injury, ill-fitted saddle, arthritis, slipped disc, tumor of the vertebra or spinal nerve, and congenital defects. While there is little that you can do to prevent some of these causes, there are a few steps you can take to help keep your horse from experiencing back pain.
Most back injuries in horses are caused by accidents or improper handling. Therefore, you can help to prevent back pain with proper training, careful riding, proper saddling and safe working conditions. If your horse is experiencing back pain, it will likely become unwilling to be ridden. Your horse may even be unwilling to let you place a saddle on its back. In other cases, you may simply notice that your horse is moving differently when doing a particular movement, such as when jumping or engaging in another sport that requires tight turns or flexing the body.
Treating Back Pain
The treatment plan for back pain is largely dependent upon the cause. In mild cases, you may simply need to use an anti-inflammatory medication while allowing your horse to rest. In more acute cases, a direct injection of steroids or an anti-inflammatory may be needed.
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