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Lameness Services at Whole Horse

Dr. Bickel has a special interest in lameness, and is committed to thorough evaluation of your horse to find the true source of lameness. Horses often undergo repeated treatments without improvement, or with minimal improvement. Often in these cases, an inaccurate diagnosis is the root cause of the horse’s failure to respond to treatment. Accurate diagnosis of the cause of lameness is the only way to achieve correct and effective treatment.

We offer very complete lameness exams where Dr. Bickel watches the horse in hand, on the lunge line, and takes the horse through multiple movements and flexions to assess the limbs. If needed, the horse will also be evaluated under saddle or with video. We frequently make use of diagnostic nerve blocks in order to very accurately pin point the source of lameness. Dr. Bickel is committed to taking the time necessary to make a thorough and accurate assessment of your horse’s problem. These exams are done on the farm in the horse’s normal environment, eliminating symptom masking that can occur in a strange environment.

We utilize digital x-ray which allows us to develop films on site. This allows Dr. Bickel to incorporate x-ray findings into her exam and diagnostic tests while still on the farm, saving time and allow more accurate diagnosis. This is especially important when evaluating joints such as the hock and the navicular bone, where x-ray abnormalities often appear that are not causing any problems for the horse. These “false” abnormalities must be distinguished from whatever is really causing the horse’s lameness.




Dr. Bickel frequently makes use of ultrasound during lameness exams. Although ultrasound of the tendons of the lower leg and suspensory ligament are commonly done in many practices, Dr. Bickel is also capable of ultrasounding the stifle, back and sacroiliac regions of the horse. Ultrasound of these areas can be essential to an accurate diagnosis. She commonly identifies meniscal injuries, torn sacral ligaments, and other issues in affected horses through the use of ultrasound.

Once a diagnosis is made, effective treatment is essential for the lame horse. We utilize joint injection with very high quality Hyaluronic Acid as a standard first-line treatment for many lame horses. However, we offer numerous other techniques designed for more difficult lameness. These include ultrasound guided injection of the cervical facets of the neck, and the sacroiliac joint, as well as Shockwave therapy, and customized rehabilitation programs for your horse. We can also do PRP (platelet rich plasma) and stem cell injections for various joint, ligament, and tendon problems.

Whole Horse Vet is now also offering Mesotherapy. Mesotherapy is a technique first developed in France and now used at many of the top equine hospitals in the country. It involves the injection of small amounts of medication in the mesoderm (middle layer) of the skin. This stimulates Giant fibers within the skin and results in an end to the cycle of spasm and pain experienced by horses with back and neck pain. It can be a highly effective treatment for back and neck pain and a service we are proud to offer.

The techniques for both diagnosis and treatment offered by Whole Horse Vet are designed to give you the best in lameness diagnosis and treatment on the farm. We are committed to helping your horse heal and return to competition better than ever!



Denise Bickel DVM
Whole Horse Veterinary Services
Phone # 517-474-4050
Fax # 517-764-7710
3906 Seymour Rd
Jackson, MI 49201


Hours--Mon, Thurs, Fri from 11 am to 8pm, and Sat and Sun 10 am-4 pm

Whole Horse Veterinary Services. 
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