HISTORY AND SUBJECTIVE COMPLAINTS:
Lameness was first observed in this 10yo mare, 4 weeks prior imaging. Veterinary treatment /investigation had consisted of 4 weeks box rest and a 2 week course of a phenylbutazone alternative which she was still taking at the time of testing, however there had been no improvement. The left hind fetlock was negative to the nerve block. In walk the horse was only slightly lame, but in trot the degree of lameness increased dramatically to 60% or 70%.
A full body scan was completed, however due to the degree of lameness, the stress test consisted of walking in hand for 15 mins, with short amounts of trotting, after which a repeat set of images were taken. In walk the horse was fully weight bearing on the left hind.
THERMOGRAPHIC INTERPRETATION: Pre-exercise, lateral and cranial views of the left hock indicate significant inflammation of the medial tarsal joint. Post-exercise, both hocks display similar inflammatory thermal patterns on the dorsal views (they appear normal on plantar views).
DISCUSSION: The primary thermal findings were joint associated inflammatory patterns, present in the hocks. The left hock appeared to be worse affected and was consistently inflamed, while the right side becomes inflamed only with exercise. Clinical correlation to rule out degenerative joint disease was advised as this appears to be the most likely underlying pathology.
FURTHER VETERINARY INVESTIGATION:
X-rays identified a small bone spur in the lower tarsal joint of the left hind which correlated with thermal findings and treatment commenced.