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Fighting... Injury in horses

Fighting sacroiliac (SI) joint region pain in horses

Camera icon We investigated the prevalence and characteristics of SI joint region pain and its relationship to lameness in horses. As the first large-scale study of its kind, the research provides important guidance for vets and horse owners on the clinical signs of SI joint region pain and how best to examine it.

The majority of horses in the study had SI joint region pain and hindlimb lameness. Although clear improvement in lameness in hand was seen in some horses after removing the source of pain in the lame limb, ridden exercise highlighted the persistence of another source of pain, which was sometimes worse after abolishing the lameness.

We observed that clinical signs of SI joint region pain are worse when horses are ridden, highlighting the importance of vets examining horses under saddle wherever possible in order to observe the true severity and breadth of the clinical signs.

Fighting fractures in Thoroughbred racehorses

Camera icon Lateral condylar (LC) fracture of the cannon bone is the single most common cause of fatality of horses racing in the UK. Working with University of Glasgow, we have completed a pilot study which, longer term, aims to decrease the risk of this type of fracture occurring.

Our research aims to identify certain features that could be used to help owners and trainers with monitoring Thoroughbred racehorses in training.

In addition, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, our stem cell researchers are undertaking a pilot study, making bone in 3D constructs from induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate fracture in horses. We hope this study will gain further funding to enable us to compare the properties of bone constructs for horses with high and low risk of fracture.

Find out more about our research to help horses at

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