Getting old/arthritis/steroids

noblesteed

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Hi all, looking for advice on my oldie and whether or not to have his arthritic hocks injected this year or just manage on herbal pain relief.

My connie x andalusian is 18 this year. He's had hock arthritis/spavin for 3 years which is managed annually by steroid injections. 2 years ago had an injury to a hind leg which was operated on and resulted in removal of annular ligament in one fetlock. He's come back from it fine and been in normal work for a year now. I am suspicious it was partly due to a change in his hind leg action after his steroid injections.
He was always a good doer but over past 2 years has been dropping weight, I assume due to age and now he has to be fed to keep it on. That's not a problem. He's a happy hack ridden 2-3 times a week, walk, trot, canter, popping the odd ditch or log. He got lami last summer - he's had it a few times in the past too - due to ridiculous grass growth, he wasn;t fat but his sensitive system like most iberians meant he came down with it quickly and was poorly for 6 weeks. It's always in his back feet we think due to steroid injections being in hind legs.
So his annual steroid injections are now due and I am terrified if I get them done it will start off the chain of laminitis just in time for spring. He always has 2 weeks box rest and lami diet after injections but I am trying to weigh up whether or not it is fair to put him through it again. His hocks are stiff but they are not terrible and I find he does OK on devil's claw and regular riding.
But if I leave the injections and he suddenly does need them I will be stuck as the grass will have grown through and lami will be a huge risk.
Any thoughts?
 

Scatterbrain

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16 December 2013
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If he's been dropping weight, it might be worth getting bloods done to check he hasn't developed an underlying metabolic problem. As he's had laminitis previously, is it really worth the risk of injecting him with steroids?!
You could try cartrophen injections as an alternative. Expensive, but if they work, far safer than steroid injections. Provided he doesn't compete under rules, why not try a low dose of Danilon to help keep him mobile.
 

noblesteed

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His weight hasn't dropped terribly, he's just more of an average doer now than a good doer if you see what I mean! Vet is much happier with the amount of weight he carries these days.
Hmm I will ask about cartrophen. It's not something I have been offered for him so far.
I have thought about the danilon route but thought I would hang fire with that as devil's claw and turmeric are currently doing the job, however it is propbably wise to maybe have some in for stiff days. Hopefully the weather is warming up and cold stiff days should be over til next winter. He lives out through the summer which is also a bonus.
It's a tough choice with the steroids causing problems, because they work so well and he moves much better. But lami is awful. Poor guy!
 

Achinghips

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1 December 2009
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3,744
Id get them now, before spring grass, but only if he is miserable. If not, leave it and manage with danillon on his worse days.
 
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