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Ringbone in Horses

As every horse owner knows, there are a myriad of causes of lameness. One cause that shows up with less frequency than many others is ringbone. However, when it does manifest itself, it can be a condition that will severely compromise a horse’s usefulness. Simply put, ringbone is new bone growth that occurs on the surfaces of the long and short pastern bones and the coffin bone. It usually results in lameness, and it frequently stems from periostitis. Periostitis—Inflammation of the periosteum. The condition generally is chronic and is marked by tenderness and swelling of the bone and an aching pain. Acute periostitis is due to infection, and is characterized by diffuse forming of pus and severe pain. Ringbone is characterized as being either high or low. High ringbone is new bone growth at the bottom (distal) end of the long pastern bone or top (proximal) end of the short pastern bone. Low ringbone is new growth at the distal end of the short pastern bone or the proximal end of the coffin bone. Ringbone can occur in either the front or hind limbs, but is more common in the front.

RINGBONE Exostosis or bone growth on the front side of the pastern-coronet.

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