Nerve Blocking Horses as Part of a Lameness Exam
Nerve blocking particular leg structures is a method veterinarians can use to help locate, or confirm, the location of pain associated with lameness. Veterinarians will inject an analgesic to numb the nerves in the area suspected to be the source of pain. Many chronic hoof and leg ailments present as lameness without enough specific characteristics to determine the location of the pain. In this case your veterinarian may begin by numbing the lowest structure on the leg and work their way up the leg.
The numbing affect is seen about 10 minutes after injecting. The veterinarian will then perform a lameness evaluation. The horse will be asked to jog in a straight line away from them, and then towards them. The horse may also be asked to work on the lounge line while the doctor evaluates gait and transitions.
A horse is considered to have “blocked sound” when lameness is no longer exhibited.