Shoulder Joint

Horses bear 60% of their body weight in their front limbs; thus, shoulder health is essential. The shoulder connects the front limbs to the trunk and provides support for the front half of the body. For normal function, all of the bones (humerus and scapula) of the shoulder joint must align properly. Disruption of the normal gliding of the shoulder joint results in pain. Developmental abnormalities (e.g.: osteochondritis dissecans, OCD) and trauma to the shoulder (e.g.: fractures) are common causes of pain in the shoulder. Without intervention, arthritis progresses in the joint. Shoulder pain may result in poor performance; some horses may limp on the affected leg. A healthy body weight is the best insurance to minimize joint inflammation in your horse’s shoulders. Anti-inflammatory medications, nutritional supplements, physical therapy and/or surgery may be recommended by your veterinarian to keep your horse’s shoulder joints strong and mobile.