Lameness Exam Grading Scale

lameness scaleThe North American Lameness Scale was created by American Association of Equine Practioners committee (a committee that Dr. Swanson was a part of). The scale allows veterinarians to grade a lameness in a way that is easily communicated to the horse owner as well as other professionals.


The grades are as follows:

0 – No lameness observed at the time of exam

1 – Lameness difficult to observe and is not

consistent, regardless of circumstances

2 – Lameness difficult to observe at walk and trot,

but consistent under certain circumstances,

such as trotting in a circle

3 – Lameness consistently observable at a trot in

all circumstances

4 – Lameness apparent at a walk

5 – Lameness with minimal (toe touching) to non-

weight bearing