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Equine Practice
Diagnosis of palmar foot pain in the equine forelimb
  1. Martin Gough

    Martin Gough qualified from London in 1989. He has just completed an ILPH-sponsored residency and postgraduate degree project at Edinburgh veterinary school on the diffusion of local anaesthetic. He holds RCVS certificates in equine practice and equine surgery (orthopaedics).


PALMAR foot pain is a term used to describe chronic unilateral or bilateral lameness associated with the palmar third of the forelimb foot which is relieved by palmar digital perineural analgesia. Foot problems are a common cause of forelimb lameness; approximately 50 per cent of forelimb lameness cases referred to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies are confirmed as being foot lameness. In first opinion practice the proportion of forelimb lameness cases related to the foot is likely to be even higher. Palmar foot pain has multiple potential aetiologies. This article aims to outline the general approach to diagnosis in these cases. Although a full investigation will be described, in practice this may not always be necessary. A second article, concentrating on the treatment of such problems, will be published in the next issue.

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