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Oakham Veterinary Hosital has a large first opinion caseload, seeing many different types of horses from small ponies to top competition horses. Appointments are available from Monday - Friday between 8am and 5pm. Cases can range from simple vaccinations and dentals to extensive lameness workups and poor performance assessments.

Lameness Assessments and Poor Performance Investigation

Oakham Veterinary Hospital is a leading centre for lameness assessment, seeing many of both our own patients and referral cases. It is an area of special expertise and interest for several of our senior clinicians. The hospital assesses horses from a wide range of disciplines, from the hairiest of ponies to top event horses that are competing around the globe.

We have two large trot up areas where the vets can assess horses moving at walk and trot, both in hand and on the lunge. We also have a 20x40 arena that is available to assess horses both under saddle and on the lunge, as some subtle lameness' can appear different on a soft surface. Horses may be ridden both by their owners and occasionally, by one of our team (with the owners permission).

The usual starting place for diagnosing a lameness would be nerve blocks. This involves injecting a local analgesic around a nerve, or directly into a joint or synovial structure, which temporarily removes the sensitivity in that area. Once the block has time to take effect, the horse is then re-assessed to see if the lamness has improved. Once the area causing the lameness has been identified, diagnostic imaging is then used to visualise the problem. The type of imaging used will depend on the nature of the lameness but may include radiography, ultrasonography, MRI or scintigraphy.

 Poor performance analysis can be a complex issue, and requires several areas of expertise. There are many possible causes which is why work ups can often take several days. Causes of poor performance can range from medicinal, (anaemia, gastric ulcers), to reproductive, (particularly in mares), and can also include rider/training issues.

Once the cause of lameness/poor performance  has been established, we will be able to guide you on the appropriate treatment and management options.These can include anything from treatments such as IRAP, stem cells, PRP, shockwave therapy,surgery to farriery and exercise programmes.



Regular quality dental work is important for maintaining your horse's health and performance and can prevent bigger problems in the future. Most horses only require a 20 minute treatment to remove share enamel points on an annual basis.  We have extensive dentistry equipment including Dremel electric power tool.


Wall Grinder Excessive wear due to vice of
wall grinding. The horse continuously
rubs its teeth along the wall.
Wolf Tooth Wolf tooth and rostral hook
present on 1st upper molar.
Crib Biter Incisor wear due to crib biting. Parrot mouth Parrot mouth congenital abnormality.


Farriery Clinic

Martin Deacon is a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers (the highest accolade for farriers in the Uk) and runs a progressive farriery practice in Leicestershire.

Correct foot balance is the key to soundness and performance. Martin works alongside our equine veterinary surgeons and runs a weekly clinic for horses that have come into the hospital with problems that stem from incorrect or poor foot balance.

Martin is co-author of the book 'No foot no horse. Foot balance; the key to soundness and performance' , 

lateral extension Shoe fitted with lateral extensions to imrpove foot balance. Special fix Specialised Shoeing after removal of keratoma.
A hospital plate fitted after surgery to protect an exposed area of the foot. Hot shoeing Hot shoeing.