Coffin joint arthritis- any success stories?

NooNoo59

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My dear boy has been diagnosed with coffin joint arthritis. He was in injected yesterday I can start walk work in 7 days then normal work after 14 days. He is used for hacking and low level dressage. Anyone got any experience with returning to normal work levels after these injections?
 
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Yes mine recently diagnosed. Injected then had three days off. Vet said straight back into normal work. Competing within 6 days (not under rules). Back out at affiliated level a fortnight later with great success 😊
 
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I found that the injections were fantastic to start with as the result was like a miracle. However, the affect only lasted about 9 months so I had another repeat injection done which lasted 6 months. He was injected again for a third time but the affect was minimal. I also suspect that the use of steroids does not do the joint any good. I then went through a whole series of remedies recommended by the vet but nothing worked. Finished up on bute and was only able to hack out. The only advice I can offer is that you must keep the joint moving so regular light work will be necessary. I hope your outcome is better than mine. Good luck.
 
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My mare had the injections only once, we put her on a vet prescribed joint supplement and she responded really well. We didn't need to repeat the injections, continued with low level work - hacking, and slowly built up from there. That was 6 years ago when she was 8, she's 14 now and has so far shown no signs of it causing her any further discomfort. She is barefoot now and her for kept fairly short to keep the action over the joint short too, seems to have worked for us.
 

NooNoo59

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Thanks everyone, start walk work tomorrow. He is hacked twice a week and and schooled or lunged four times on an average week. As he is 14 now I hope realistically to get another good two years for dressage then possibly semi retire him and just do light hacking. It is frustrating as he has had a very easy life as his previous owner only rode about once a month and she had him for 8 years so I was not expecting problems at this stage. But thats horses for you!!
 

NooNoo59

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Started trot work he is better but still not 100% he has packed a few pounds on and this always makes him feel slightly uneven. Ground is so hard so only walking while out and trotting in the school. Did yours all feel good straight away?
 

NooNoo59

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Walked out well on hack yesterday but very reluctant to trot in the school. Instructor to assess tomorrow. I have a bad feeling about this.
 

skint1

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Try not to be too downhearted. My lad had a terrible year last year, spent most of the last summer not sound- he has moderate OA in both front coffin joints- he was also diagnosed with Cushings, but it all took a long time to find our way through. This year, we've really cracked it and even with this hard ground he has stayed sound, though to be fair I'm only a happy hacker with the odd bit of school/pole work thrown in. He has boswellia supplement every day plus a danilon a day at times like this when the ground is hard. My farrier is great and has been instrumental in maintaining soundness and there may be a time I consider pulling his shoes as I have heard many people say that horses with coffin joint OA do best barefoot.,
 

Accidental Eventer

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I only have bad news. Our mare had it in all 4 feet. The injections worked very briefly for us once then not at all after that. She got gradually worse despite what we tried to do to help her out, to the point where she wasn't paddock sound.

She was 10 when we found it, but I believe she had been putting up with it for many years prior, especially since she had it all round. It just showed up when we started to ask more from her.

I wish you the best of luck, try and stay positive. It is hard, I had a doom and gloom feeling about our mare too.
 

1ST1

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Well I fortunately have a success story so far (fingers crossed). My PRE has coffin joints arthritis in both his front feet. He had steroid injections for several times but (as previously said) the effect lasted for less and less every time. I was considering retiring him as he was comfortable with one danilon in the field. But, as a last resort, my vet suggested Arthramid (polyacrylamide hydrogel) which is a new therapy for this kind of condition. We used an equivalent (Noltrex) as Arthramid is not yet available in our country. My boy had the injections in May and was sound in a matter of days. He got better and better in the weeks that followed and is now back to his old forward going self. My vet says that the drug is not absorbed by the body like the steroids and stays in the joint for up to two years, cushioning it. It is more expensive but was totally worth it in my case. Can you ask your vet about this?
 

NooNoo59

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Thats very helpful and will do, how old is your horse? Instructor has said we need to get the work going and we have and so far he seems much better so fingers crossed. I realise that he will probably need something else in the future but I am trying to stay positive.
 

1ST1

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His exact age is not known, but we believe him to be somewhere between 15 and 19. He had a very hard life before I got him (constantly doing passage, piaffe and Spanish walk on very hard surfaces).
I hope your horse becomes sound and you have many, many years of happiness together.
 

ester

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F had a coffin joint DJD diagnosis but I'm unsure of the accuracy - he blocked to coffin joint which should be pretty specific and improved with injections but as I brought him back into work slowly the more he did the lamer he got.

I took his shoes off and he did another 5 years of full work and retired due to totally unrelated back end issues.
 

NooNoo59

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if the injections dont work i am not averse to giving the barefoot a go. Seems to all good atm. The trouble is as soon as I know my horse has a problem I let them get away with murder!!
 

NooNoo59

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so after a couple of good weeks, he is lame again. have only walked on the roads and worked in the school. talking to vet again!
 

ester

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Did he have an MRI or just xrays. If he's been working in the school and has since got worse I'd query soft tissue involvement if only xrayed.
 

NooNoo59

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No not yet, think that might be the next step. Obviously the ground is rock hard and that does not help but hes not one for careering about! I am thinking MRI and poss shoe removal once the ground is softer.
 

ester

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I didn't bother as it wouldn't have changed my treatment plan after bar shoes and injections had failed. Slow motion video footage of his landing was fairly telling though in that he was very lateral on his lame side so I'd suspect the collateral ligament wasn't too happy at least.
 

NooNoo59

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ok have sent videos to the vet, he is obviously struggling on the hard. So he is hacked out twice a week as I think he cannot go in the school every day and we have to do roadwork as our off road areas are really bad for flies in the summer and inaccessible in the winter. Hope the vet can do advise something that can at least get him to be able to hack out as I dont think its healthy for a horses brain to just work on a surface all the time.
Any thoughts on this?
 

NooNoo59

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Vet is not happy with the nearside fore light work poss inject again in 3 months poss pads and last resort surgery which I am not keen on doing. Not good news
 

ester

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I think you said you did get previous improvement from the jab? Post injections we walked for a couple of weeks and there was a definite improvement. It was only when we started doing longer hacks and introducing trot that he wasn't right on it again. On the basis of previous improvement I opted to have him injected again at the time I took shoes off.

Surgery seems like quite an extreme suggestion when there are other medical options?
 

NooNoo59

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Yes he was better until we upped the work. Not sure whether taking to shoes would work as the vet explained that could increase the concussion spread thru the sole. Not keen on surgery tbh
 

pastit

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Yes he was better until we upped the work. Not sure whether taking to shoes would work as the vet explained that could increase the concussion spread thru the sole. Not keen on surgery tbh
Just as an aside, be wary of your bedding. I found that my horse hated any lateral movement of the joint. He was happier plodding round the flat surface of the yard than going out in the field. He was bedded on shavings, but was better when I switched to straw.
 

NooNoo59

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Straw is a tricky one as he eats it and I already struggle with his weight. Waiting for report from the vet to discuss options.
 

pastit

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Unfortunately, no. Like the others have reported, the steroids didn't last a day over three months, and the arthritis has spread to hocks and neck. He's on a bute a day and doing ok, but I am acutely aware that this horse will not show pain whereas my other one is a complete wuss. So he is probably in low grade pain and humans that have arthritis in their ankles will say the same - that the ache is always present. I took his shoes off about three months ago to see if that helped, but even allowing for a period of adjustment, I don't see much (or any) difference. He is 16 years, 14.1, and is out 24hrs in summer. When his coffin joint is bad, he headshakes (twitches) although it took us a while to connect the two, so I think he was having to cope with it a very long time before it was diagnosed.
So I have a fat contented pony who rarely twitches enjoying his retirement & I hope it lasts a long time, but I will think again if the medication has to increase. I wish you all the very best - its a horrible thing to happen to our best mates.

I'm sorry to sound negative, luckily all horses are different. I put him on a half bed of straw and rubber matted the front half. Then he had a choice of standing on a completely flat surface. If the straw gets smelly, try sprinkling 3 or 4 handfuls of woodpellets underneath the straw to soak up the wee. I do this with both of mine as they are prone to winter coughs - it makes a big difference. I started with Yukkabed until they became bored with trying to find edible straw.
 

ycbm

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Yes he was better until we upped the work. Not sure whether taking to shoes would work as the vet explained that could increase the concussion spread thru the sole. Not keen on surgery tbh


A barefoot horse lands first on the spongy frog and digital cushion, taking out masses of concussion from the foot landing on a hard surface.

A shoe, on the other hand, directly passes the concussion through the rigid hoof wall into the foot bones via the glue like attachment of the laminae.
 

NooNoo59

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He has had pads and magicushion fitted this week and looked a lot better today so fingers crossed. Going to get instructor to assess at the weekend
 
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