Award-winning equine surgeon enjoys solving ‘puzzle’ of horses’ lameness

Credit : Rood and Riddle/Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Tuesday 19 February - 14h42 | Ian Clayton

Award-winning equine surgeon enjoys solving ‘puzzle’ of horses’ lameness

“We have people in this clinic who do the New York Times crossword puzzle every morning because it's supposed to keep you mentally sharp. I don't ever have to do the crossword puzzle because I've got a dozen puzzles waiting for me to figure out on lameness day.”

That is how renowned veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage describes his work at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, in a profile this month on the Paulick Report. Bramlage – who has focused on Thoroughbreds for the past 15 years and has featured on NBC Triple Crown broadcasts – explained his highly methodical approach to diagnosing the lame animals he sees to Natalie Voss. 

“He approaches the most obvious lameness first, and “blocks it out” before locating the next one,” Voss writes. “This means he applies short-acting nerve blocks to strategic spots on the leg (typically working from the bottom up). Each spot feeds nerves in identified, isolated parts of the leg below it. When a clinician is searching for the source of a problem, they apply blocks until the horse shows resolution – then they know the injury is somewhere in the region impacted by the most recent block. Bramlage said he typically blocks out a problem in one leg and sees another (usually pre-existing problem) emerge in another leg. When all issues have blocked out and the horse is sound, he has a map to use for advanced imaging like radiograph, ultrasound, or MRI.”

For the full article, see here. Coming soon, a profile of another world-renowned veterinarian, France’s Jean-Marie Denoix, from the GP 50 list of 50 influential people in the equestrian world in 2018. Others on that list included equine osteopath George Oduro and past top FEI vet John McEwen. Video below the ad of Dr. Larry Bramlage from Ian Palmer on Vimeo, where he describes one of his personal breakthroughs in the field.

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