Cortisone injections for arthritis ? advice wanted

Joined
8 January 2013
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131
Hi,

horse has unfortunatly just been diagnosed with arthritis in her two hind hocks today quite by accident to it was a shock as she went to the vets regarding a puncture wound she did last week was supposed to be a quick checkup :( however thats horses for you.

Vet says lameness is extremly low at the moment took him a while to decide she actually was xrays revealed slight changes in the hocks but nothing horrendous he said so his advice was once puncture wound was healed to inject cortisone into two joints in both hocks. he said with how she is now he expects it will take well and she should be quite happy in continuing a competition life (dressage and showing).

My questions are; how long should i expect them to last realistically ( his answer was each horse is different some go 18 months some go one some show no improvement), does insurance pay for them after the original claim ie : after 12 months will i need to pay for subsequent injections as i assume they wont pay out a new claim as its 'pre existing'. Has anyone any thing else to try for help maintain the joints such as oils exercises etc.

I have no previous experience with arthritis so will be grateful of all information directed at me.

Thanks
 

lizzi2

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Joined
13 August 2009
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Hi,
One of my horses was diagnosed with arthritis 15 years ago, when she was only 8 yrs old. She's been on a joint supplement (forever freedom - aloe vera based one) for years and had regular massage, magnotherapy treatments and physiotherapy - and has had no serious deterioration - sometimes a little stiff, and longer warm-ups necessary. She's in light work, but hasn't held her back.
Think like your vet says - each horse is different.
Re your insurance company - i'd speak to them for what their view would be - think they can all vary a little bit to how they approach/assess things!
:)
 
Joined
8 January 2013
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Hi,

Thanks for your reply still in total shock at the moment. Was not expecting this at all. I am going to have a look at some magnotherapy boots etc, i think my vet may be refering to the physio he said he will speak more about it when we return for the injections, my aunty does alternative therapies and is qualified both animals and humans so will speak to her about getting a nice massage and anything else. Will have a look at the supplement i think work will be decreased slightly now will hack more and concentrate on showing as opposed to dressage now,

Thanks again :) x
 
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Just bear in mind that injections can cause the joint to deteriorate and although can solve for short term long term can be more damaging.
Personally I would go with supplements and inject as a last resort
 
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Dianchi this is not meant in a rude way as i know sometimes tone can be misinterpreted over the internet but do you have a suggestion of another treatment .. i have never had any experience with arthritis so have literally just gone off what the vet has told me


Thanks

ETA sorry re read your post will do some research on supplements
 
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Mine was diagnosed with bone spavins in both hocks like yours. I had the steroid injection which only lasted 3 months, then had another before Xmas, but that seems to be wearing off again. NFU have paid up for the diagnosis and treatment.

I'm loath to carry on with any more invasive treatment and am now using Suppleaze Gold after getting loads of positive advice about it on another forum.
 
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MSM is a good supp to use as its an anti inflam, linseed is good for repair and chondritin (sorry sp) have been proven useful.
Have also used adequan to great effect but that's not joint injection but again need re-doing

Hope that's of some help
 
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when you say linseed, does micronised linseed help as shes fed on that? will have a look at some of the products suggested and see which will suit her best. To be honest i was in such a shock i just sort of went along with his original plan now i am started to think and research the different treatments such as magnetic boots and supplements, massage etc. Will have to give him a call to have a proper conversation where my mind is in the right place i think
 
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Be wary. My horse was diagnosed with arthritis in his right forefoot - coffin joint. He had his first cortisone injection and it was like a miracle! fantastic. Lasted about 18 months. His second injection lasted about 9 months. His third lasted 6 months or less. Basically, they become less effective as time goes on and as has been said, I believe they have a serious effect on the deterioration of the joint itself. Try to do without if you can. The BEST thing is regular quiet exercise - keeping the joints moving. Supplements never made any difference for my horse, but, each horse is different so I wouldn't dismiss them. Your horse will have good and bad days.
If you find it getting worse then I would just give a bute a day, or every other day, just to keep him/her comfortable.
The other thing to be aware of is: introducing anything into a joint capsule carries risk.
Good luck.
 
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Thanks Zuzzie for the reply i am gettin wary regarding the injections ... going to keep her well mobilised and will try the supplements nothing to loose at the moment i am going to have a long discussion with the vet regarding treatment options and see if it really is the best option i have at the moment.

thanks again :)
 
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Hi,

horse has unfortunatly just been diagnosed with arthritis in her two hind hocks today quite by accident to it was a shock as she went to the vets regarding a puncture wound she did last week was supposed to be a quick checkup :( however thats horses for you.

Vet says lameness is extremly low at the moment took him a while to decide she actually was xrays revealed slight changes in the hocks but nothing horrendous he said so his advice was once puncture wound was healed to inject cortisone into two joints in both hocks. he said with how she is now he expects it will take well and she should be quite happy in continuing a competition life (dressage and showing).

My questions are; how long should i expect them to last realistically ( his answer was each horse is different some go 18 months some go one some show no improvement), does insurance pay for them after the original claim ie : after 12 months will i need to pay for subsequent injections as i assume they wont pay out a new claim as its 'pre existing'. Has anyone any thing else to try for help maintain the joints such as oils exercises etc.

I have no previous experience with arthritis so will be grateful of all information directed at me.

Thanks
A lot of hroses have spavin, and it can be treated so don't panic. See my reply under the post 'Tildren the first time ...' in veterinary.
 
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Joined
2 January 2011
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Hi there,

I can only speak from experience. My eventer was diagnosed with degenerative joints in both hocks when he was 7. He has hock injections 6-monthly, but has now had 3 and we have decided they don't make much difference so he has just had a course of Tildren. The purpose of these treatments is not to make a miracle difference, but to prolong his competitive life, and prevent deterioration until his hocks either stop degenerating or for as long as possible. I can't tell you if these treatments worked, but can tell you what he's done since starting them:

Last season he did 3 Intermediates and a CCI* and finished the season reasonably sound and happy. He had a bad week in June, and again in September, when I thought he was going to have to retire, but I gave him an easy week and he came through it. The thing that makes him most stiff is jumping 2 days in a row, or too many heavy sessions in a row. He works hard on alternate days. He has never competed on any illegal substances, in fact he never has painkillers at all though I do keep some in case he needs them after an event.

He is now preparing for another season of Novice/Intermediate. He sometimes takes a few lame steps when going into trot for the first time, but works through it. I don't like to feel the lame steps especially when new trainers see him, in case they think I am wrong to keep riding him! But he is showing no signs of pain or discomfort, he's forward-going and very, very keen to jump big fences and never stops - not signs of a horse in pain!

This may not apply to your horse at all, but I think these bony joint conditions can be taken into account while still working your horse to a high level. It's trial and error how much they can take and you have to get to know your horse. I have mine on Supaflex and Cod liver Oil, people say you need a source of Glucosamine and I like to give this in liquid form as it seems logical it will lubricate his joints better! I am looking into Vetrafen/Vetraflex as joint supplements that work in a different way, but my thinking is if I give him everything now (he's 9), what will he have when he is 12-14!

I would definitely give your horse some kind of treatment, as it will prolong his competitive life. But if he is happily competing and the lameness is so low level that you weren't even aware, maybe don't go overboard with treatments too close together, but try to maintain him on supplements, and use painkillers when he is really stiff, the way you would for a human. Just don't compete on them! If you are in doubt then wait and have him x-rayed again in 6 months. If the condition is getting worse then treat it, if not then maybe he's always had it?
 
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