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Recumbent Horse

Multiple conditions can render a horse recumbent.

These include:

  • Laminitis
  • Foot abscess
  • Tetanus
  • Traumatic injury e.g. fracture
  • Chronic osteoarthritis
  • Neurological form of Herpes virus
  • Rhabdomyolysis (‘tying up’)

Obviously it will depend on what the problem is as to what course of action is taken.

Unfortunately some conditions and situations will warrant immediate euthanasia on humane grounds. A foot abscess for example will hopefully be easily sorted and with the addition of painkillers will result in a quick and satisfactory outcome.

The neurological form of equine herpes virus may result in a chronically recumbent horse. These represent a potential welfare issue and a tremendous management challenge. The horse would need specialist supportive care which would including turning every 2-6 hours, assisted lifting with a specialist hoist as well as treatment for the condition.