What is it
Ringbone is a bony swelling below the fetlock. High ringbone is found near the pastern joint, low ringbone near the coffin joint - which is often hidden by the hoof wall. Ringbone can occur on the joint surface, where it is more painful or the joint capsule. It is more common in the forelegs.
These vary depending on the type of ringbone.
- Pain on pressure
- Bony swelling
- Pain when joint moved and limit to mobility
- Conformational faults
- Stress and strain
- Poor diet
X-rays are used to diagnose ringbone in its later stages - the joint surfaces are no longer smooth when it is present. However, in the early stages changes to the bone will be less obvious so flexion tests can be performed and nerve blocking is useful too.
Ringbone is usually a degenerative disease so treatment is aimed at slowing the progression and to manage the pain. Some horses can still work, however, it varies from horse to horse.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation
- Remedial shoeing to support the heels
- Joint injections
- Low level regular exercise eg: turnout
- Balanced diet
- Correct shoeing
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