Kissing Spine in Horses

Last Updated on January 3, 2022 by Sam

This article will discuss the “kissing spine,” which is a condition in horses that causes lameness and may be associated with sciatic pain. The kissing spines occur when there is an abnormal growth of cartilage on the inside of each vertebrae, near their spinal cord.

The “pictures of kissing spine in horses” is a condition that is present in horses. The condition can be seen on the back of the horse’s neck and it is caused by an injury or inflammation.

Have you heard of Kissing Spine, or back discomfort in horses in layman’s terms?

Kissing Spine is a medical ailment that occurs when two or more bony projections in a horse’s vertebrae overlap or contact, hence the name.

Although the specific etiology of this condition in horses is unknown, there are techniques to avoid, detect, and treat it if it does arise.


Kissing Spine is often assumed to be a side effect of more serious health problems.

This is why, when a horse is diagnosed with it, veterinarians are more inclined to do further testing and, if feasible, begin treatment.

The good news is that the recovery rate is high as long as horse owners are serious and dedicated to the therapies required.

Learn more about Kissing Spine in horses and what it implies if your horse is diagnosed with it by reading the following article.

In horses, what is Kissing Spine?

In the 1960s, Kissing Spine was initially identified as a prevalent source of back pain and discomfort in horses.

Because there was a scarcity of data and resources to back up their claims at the time, researchers have only recently been able to dedicate greater attention to this issue as a major concern in horses, now that improved technology are available.

Researchers may now learn more about horse anatomy and better comprehend Kissing Spine because to higher-quality x-rays.

Instead of being spread apart, Kissing Spine is now best identified as having vertebrae that are too close together.

Although some horses may not display clinical indications, this malformation of the horse’s spine is the cause of persistent low-grade discomfort.

The researchers discovered that Kissing Spine mostly affects the thoracic vertebrae (T) 13 and 18, with T15 being the most impacted.

However, it may happen in the lumbar vertebrae as well.

These areas are right under the saddle and the rider’s seat.

Although Kissing Spine isn’t a big reason for worry, it is preferable to be detected and treated than not at all since it causes back discomfort in horses.

Thoroughbreds, quarter horses, and performance horses are the most prevalent kinds of horses diagnosed with Kissing Spine, however there have been occasions when this illness was acquired.

As a result, it is thought to be caused by a range of circumstances, such as inappropriate horse training, poor saddle fit, or a hereditary element, and it may afflict any normal horse.

Kissing Spine in Horses: Clinical Symptoms

As previously said, some horses may not exhibit any clinical indicators, however the majority of horses who do exhibit clinical signs differ from horse to horse.

They are often noted to exhibit obvious lameness or poor performance.

Hypersensitivity to rearing, kicking out, bucking, brushing, head tossing, girthiness, rejecting the bit, hollowing the back, cross-cantering, problems with transitions, and rushing or refusing fences are all characteristics of this breed.

You could also notice that their backs are tender to the touch.

How Do You Know If You Have Kissing Spine?

Kissing thorns may be difficult to diagnose since it’s impossible to rule out other possibilities, such as behavioral or training concerns, or a secondary or unrelated medical illness, however there are many approaches.

The majority of the time, they are diagnosed based on radiographic findings and a physical examination.

Thermography, which employs infrared cameras to detect heat patterns, is another approach to diagnose the kissing spine.

In addition, the veterinarian employs nuclear scintigraphy and digital imaging for a bone scan to get further information.

If you feel your horse has Kissing Spine, you should see a veterinarian for a more accurate diagnosis.

What Is the Treatment for Kissing Spine?

When it comes to treating horses with Kissing Spine, the first objective is to make them as comfortable as possible.

To be comfortable, you’ll need correct medical therapy to relieve discomfort and relax your muscles and soft tissues.

To enhance mobility and stable posture, these horses may also need back and abdominal muscle strengthening workouts.

Shockwave therapy is the most frequent medical treatment for the damaged vertebrae and muscles, but it will also need anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid injections into the gaps between the vertebrae.

Physical treatment may also be fostered via a regular training routine that allows the horse to move freely in a relaxed posture before progressing to stretching.

To encourage horses to activate their core muscles, exercises such as an underwater treadmill and a Pessoa lunge system may be used.

A saddle fit examination may be required to make any necessary changes to alleviate pressure areas on your horse’s back.

Acupuncture, chiropractic, and therapeutic ultrasound treatments may also be employed.

In extreme situations, physicians may recommend surgery, which entails removing almost half (3 inches) of the bone at the top of each spine.

Endoscopy is an alternate approach that involves removing the specified dorsal spinous processes and reconnecting the ligaments between them.

You may alternatively choose to ease the pressure on the ligaments by making tiny incisions and severing the interspinous ligaments through an interspinous ligament desmotomy (ISLD).

The horse is sedated and in a standing posture for this surgical procedure.

Surgical therapy is usually a last choice since it is quite intrusive and may take a long time to recover from.

Although the majority of surgical procedures result in a satisfactory outcome, it is unclear if spine surgery will continue to stable the horse’s back or cause him to lame in the future.

How Can I Prevent My Spine From Kissing?

Kissing Spine may be caused by a multitude of reasons, but no one knows for sure what causes it.

According to a recent research, it may be connected to the horse’s development.

In any case, addressing the suspected underlying cause should be a top priority, regardless of the source of the issue.

If horses begin to limp later in life as a result of an underlying medical disease, that condition should be identified and addressed.

As a horse owner, you need also make sure that the saddle is appropriately fitted so that the horses’ back muscles are effectively used.

Watch This Video-

The “how to treat kissing spine in horses” is a common condition that can occur in horses. The condition is typically caused by trauma or injury and it causes the horse’s back to become misaligned.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you ride a horse with kissing spine?

A: That depends on your preference. Some people might find it uncomfortable, while others would enjoy the feeling of kissing a horses spine if they are not allergic to horses.

How do I know if my horse has kissing spine?

A: The best way to determine if a horse has kissing spine is by palpating the area between the front legs.

How do you rehab a horse with a kissing spine?

A: This is a complicated question which I am not qualified to answer.

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