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Neck Pain in Horses: Causes & Symptoms

Horses may experience neck pain due to reasons like poor posture, injury, muscle strain, stress, and parasites. Today, our North Fort Myers vets discuss some common causes, signs, and treatment options for horses experiencing neck pain.

Neck Pain in Equine Pets

Horse owners should be able to identify signs of neck pain in their animals and take steps to treat it to reduce their discomfort. Neck pain in horses can be challenging to diagnose and has many potential causes such as trauma, poor saddle fit, posture, hoof care, and nutrition.

Accurately recognizing the symptoms of neck pain is crucial for the best outcomes. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of neck pain in horses.

Common Causes of Horse Neck Pain

Neck pain can affect horses of any age and have a diverse range of causes, from a traumatic injury to degenerative arthritis, or a mix of both.

The severity of the condition can manifest in various clinical signs, including; mild stiffness that limits performance to intense pain accompanied by muscular spasms.

It's crucial to identify and diagnose the underlying cause of neck pain in horses to provide appropriate treatment and management.

Signs of Neck Pain in Horses

Here are some common signs that your horse may be suffering from neck pain:

  • Reluctance to move the neck, head, or back
  • Difficulty bending or turning the neck
  • Stiffness in the neck or back
  • Headshaking
  • Resistance or difficulty in turning in one direction
  • Decreased performance or reluctance to work
  • Sensitivity or soreness when touched in the neck or back region
  • Changes in behavior, such as aggression or irritability.

However, it's important to consult a qualified equine chiropractor or veterinarian before pursuing any treatment plan.

Treating Neck Pain in Horses

The treatment of neck pain in horses depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition.

Your veterinarian or equine chiropractor may recommend a combination of therapies to alleviate discomfort and restore normal function.

Chiropractic care, which involves manual manipulation of the spine and joints, is a non-invasive and drug-free method that can aid in restoring proper alignment and range of motion to the affected areas.

Additionally, other treatments such as massage, acupuncture, or physiotherapy may also be recommended, depending on the horse's specific needs. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers may be prescribed to manage pain and inflammation.

It's essential to consult with a qualified veterinarian or equine chiropractor before starting any treatment plan to determine the underlying cause of neck pain and determine the most appropriate course of treatment for your horse.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your horse showing signs of neck pain? Contact our North Fort Myers vets to have your equine companion diagnosed and treated. 

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We are accepting new patients at Van Roekel & Associates! Our veterinary team is dedicated to the care of North Fort Myers dogs and cats, horses, and farm animals. Reach out today to book your animal's first appointment.

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