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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Sidebone Disease

Equine Diseases

Equine Diseases - Sidebone

Description of Equine Sidebone Disease


Equine Sidebone

Sidebone occurs when the bones of the third phalanx become ossified. Repetitive trauma to the quarters of the feet is thought to be the leading cause of Sidebone. Therefore disciplines that require repeated use of this area will suffer from sidebone – for example showjumping and hunting. Sidebone is also common in the forelimbs of heavy cold-blooded horses that are put to work on hard surfaces. It is rare to find Sidebone in thoroughbreds due to the nature of their work. There are other causes that can lead to sidebone e.g. poor shoeing can inhibit the physiological movement and can therefore be a predisposing factor. Direct trauma to the area can also give rise to sidebone.

If you suspect sidebone, visit your vet as an x-ray will be needed for for confirmation.
Treatment of Sidebone will most likely involve stable rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs e.g. bute. In some cases surgery may be necessary

Symptoms or Clinical signs of sidebone can be the prominence of cartilages above the coronet, lameness (this can also accompany navicular disease, so it is important to distinguish between the two bone diseases.) Loss of flexibility on digital palpation of either one or both cartilages is also indicative of sidebone.

Testing for lameness across hard surface and across a slope will exaggerate any problem, so this is a good diagnostic tool for Sidebone, however an X-ray is essential for confirmation.