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How Lame Is Your Horse?





There are many different methods of defining and grading lameness. Here are the AAEP’s defined classifications.

Definition: Lameness is a deviation from the normal gait or posture due to pain or mechanical dysfunction.

Classification:

Grade 1: Difficult to observe; not consistently apparent regardless of circumstances (i.e., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surfaces, etc.)

Grade 2: Difficult to observe at a walk or trotting a straight line; consistently apparent under certain circumstances (i.e., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surfaces, etc.)

Grade 3: Consistently observable at a trot under all circumstances.

Grade 4: Obvious lameness; marked nodding, hitching or shortened stride.

Grade 5: Minimal weight bearing in motion and/or at rest; inability to move.


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