What is Ringbone in Horses? Signs and Symptoms

For horses that develop ringbone, it can be a very painful condition. What is ringbone in horses? Ringbone, which is most commonly found in middle age horses, happens when there is new bone growth. 


What Causes It?

Ringbone occurs as a result of an injury and/or inflammation. It may be articular, which affects the joints, or develops on the side of the pastern bone, which in many cases happens where the ligaments attach.

There are two types of ringbone, the high ringbone which is complicated, and the low ringbone.

Ringbone is caused by proliferation that occurs in the pastern or coffin bone over time. Horses such as jumpers and barrel horses that are prone to repetitive stress are more likely to develop ringbone.

Causes of Ringbone in Horses

Signs and Symptoms of Ringbone in Horses

If you notice a change in your horse’s gait, such as a shortened stride or choppy movement, that may be a sign your horse has ringbone. Ringbone may also be identified by heat, swelling, or lameness in a horse’s pastern or coffin.

Veterinarian and Shoeing Treatment Options

When shoeing a horse with ringbone, easing break over can help decrease the impact that is put on the joints of the lower leg.

There are also new bone modeling treatments, such as Osphos and Tildren, that can be injected through the muscle. This injection helps bind calcium and prevent bone resorption.

It is important to make sure your horse is healthy and receiving proper nutrition. An overweight horse can suffer from excess pressure and stress on the joints, which could lead to ringbone. As such, it is necessary to keep your horse healthy. If they have ringbone already, try making them as comfortable as possible.


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