Hock arthritis, symptoms, injections and after plan

Sasanaskyex

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I took my mare to camp September 2017 and when I brought her back she was really sore along her back behind the saddle. I thought this was probably fairly "normal" given she had done about 8 hours of hard riding over 3 days so I gave her 3 weeks off and physio. After the physio session she'd be comfortable but a few days later sore again whereas usually the physio would sort her out for 6 months.
It got to the point I was having physio done every few days and then I called the vets who did a lameness workup and found a right hind and left fore lameness so they came back with the xray machine and took pictures of her fetlocks, hooves, hocks and back (she later went to Breadstone hospital for deeper, clearer xrays of all of the above). Her back was clear apart from one area of dsp's which were closer than they should have been but not touching and no 'white bits' we think this was secondary to the lameness so must have been going on for a while, bless her heart.
Thank goodness the fetlocks and hooves were clear including the navicular bone which the vets said was really healthy. I didn't notice the original lameness and we had no performance issues so the only symptom she showed was back pain. The forelimb lameness was put down to poor foot balance so we did remedial shoeing (she is going barefoot next week) which sorted the front end out.

Vet was reluctant to formally diagnose the changes in her hocks as 'arthritis' due to it being really very mild but we did steroid injections anyway. He (vet) told me to keep her in for 8 hours then she could go out that night. We also did a course of Cartrophen and arthrimed. This was all done between October 2017 and January 2018, she is checked every 3 months we haven't needed to inject again yet although she is due a check again in August. She is honestly now the best she has ever been and absolutely no pain in her back whatsoever anymore so I'm ecstatic.
 

Horsekaren

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I took my mare to camp September 2017 and when I brought her back she was really sore along her back behind the saddle. I thought this was probably fairly "normal" given she had done about 8 hours of hard riding over 3 days so I gave her 3 weeks off and physio. After the physio session she'd be comfortable but a few days later sore again whereas usually the physio would sort her out for 6 months.
It got to the point I was having physio done every few days and then I called the vets who did a lameness workup and found a right hind and left fore lameness so they came back with the xray machine and took pictures of her fetlocks, hooves, hocks and back (she later went to Breadstone hospital for deeper, clearer xrays of all of the above). Her back was clear apart from one area of dsp's which were closer than they should have been but not touching and no 'white bits' we think this was secondary to the lameness so must have been going on for a while, bless her heart.
Thank goodness the fetlocks and hooves were clear including the navicular bone which the vets said was really healthy. I didn't notice the original lameness and we had no performance issues so the only symptom she showed was back pain. The forelimb lameness was put down to poor foot balance so we did remedial shoeing (she is going barefoot next week) which sorted the front end out.

Vet was reluctant to formally diagnose the changes in her hocks as 'arthritis' due to it being really very mild but we did steroid injections anyway. He (vet) told me to keep her in for 8 hours then she could go out that night. We also did a course of Cartrophen and arthrimed. This was all done between October 2017 and January 2018, she is checked every 3 months we haven't needed to inject again yet although she is due a check again in August. She is honestly now the best she has ever been and absolutely no pain in her back whatsoever anymore so I'm ecstatic.
That was a lovely read!
I'm so happy for you both!

Did she show any signs before camp?
 

Sasanaskyex

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That was a lovely read!
I'm so happy for you both!

Did she show any signs before camp?
Thank you!

She definitely did get sore behind the saddle before camp but it was managed with padding, physio and massages and stretches between physio visits. I was told it was because of her heavy workload (she does a lot of fast work) and that she is prone to being tense and not using her back properly, I didn't realise it was caused by lameness otherwise I would obviously have done something about it. I think the extra riding over those 3 days just worsened it considerably. It was so bad straight after camp that I couldn't run a brush over her back without her dipping away from me. Feels good to have now conquered the cause and not just continue treating the symptoms.
 

Tiddlypom

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on another note, with your equicore (i got one a few months back i have used once) how do you stop the resistance band around the hind for rolling into a string? did yours ever do that?
No, never.
Is yours an original equicore or a copy? Chiro vet said that a client of hers bought a rip off copy from eBay for £80 in which the band rolled into a bucking strap tight string :eek:.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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For the racehorses - obviously they tend to be in more than out - but the day of medication they stay in after because thats what they would do anyway. The following day they would go on the horsewalker for 1/2hour and out in the field. 2nd day out trotting, 3rd day trotting, 4th day canter, 5th day back into normal work.

SI we give them 2 days on the walker, 3 days trotting, 3 days easy cantering then back into full work. We don't clip nor bandage areas that are medicated.

Op if your worried about your horse being a prat will he stay sane in a small pen in the field? Double stable size?

Also as a not to anyone - if you compete please check out the withdrawal periods! Some steroids are 21 days, some 28 days, some 42 days. If you don't compete then no need to worry about that!
 

oldie48

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EKW, that's interesting, when I had my old boy's hocks done, he stayed in for the rest of the day and overnight as usual and then we carried on as normal. In a week he was showing a noticeable improvement and we got a full year before he needed to be done again. No x rays were done, he was an older horse with stiffness and was finding it difficult to step under behind, particularly in canter. It's a few years ago and vet just referred to it as a steroid injection. He also had cushings and I was told that it was most unlikely that a hock injection would cause laminitis and they never did.
Horsekaren, I'd talk to your vet again about him having to stay in, IME if they come in for the something to be done but not given anything to eat, most will be keen to get their heads down to eat rather than race around. You could get him used to a small outdoor pen in advance so he hasn't got a lot of room and see how he settles in it but make sure there is enough grass otherwise they can get frustrated.
 

Horsekaren

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EKW, that's interesting, when I had my old boy's hocks done, he stayed in for the rest of the day and overnight as usual and then we carried on as normal. In a week he was showing a noticeable improvement and we got a full year before he needed to be done again. No x rays were done, he was an older horse with stiffness and was finding it difficult to step under behind, particularly in canter. It's a few years ago and vet just referred to it as a steroid injection. He also had cushings and I was told that it was most unlikely that a hock injection would cause laminitis and they never did.
Horsekaren, I'd talk to your vet again about him having to stay in, IME if they come in for the something to be done but not given anything to eat, most will be keen to get their heads down to eat rather than race around. You could get him used to a small outdoor pen in advance so he hasn't got a lot of room and see how he settles in it but make sure there is enough grass otherwise they can get frustrated.

this is what i wanted to do but they wasnt keen, i will ask in person as that might be easier. If he is injected on the yard he would have 4 min walk to his paddock so this might be an issue :(

I guess very worse case if i can keep him in from 3.30pm to 12.00 ish the following day it is something.

What happens to horses that need this sort of thing and they live out 24/7 but dont have access to a stable :/
 

ester

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You accept that you might not have a great result
you pen them in the field
you leave them at the vets
you take them to a yard for a few days
 

Nudibranch

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hmmm i think i said that as every time you said something it was more along the lines of calling me an idiot, not sure if it was you or someone else but i remember one comment saying along the lines of "i didn't think there was much worse things than being dead but id rather that than being HK's horse"
Well thanks very much, but that had nothing to do with me. I pointed out that your horse did not look right and suggested he was off behind several times, and also mentioned SI and hock but that was not well received. At no point did I ever do anything other than say be was clearly not right behind but I suppose when it's not what someone wants to hear...

Mine was never right from a 2 year old but I can tell you now I can spot less than 1/10 lameness from a mile away. Some of us on here do have an interest in the welfare of the horses rather than just causing trouble.

All mines issues were arthritic changes and while they were never screamingly obvious on xray there were enough signs from the horse himself to tell us there was a lot wrong. Often the signs are there but we don't listen so it's important to look at the whole picture and not pass things off as being difficult.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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this is what i wanted to do but they wasnt keen, i will ask in person as that might be easier. If he is injected on the yard he would have 4 min walk to his paddock so this might be an issue :(

I guess very worse case if i can keep him in from 3.30pm to 12.00 ish the following day it is something.

What happens to horses that need this sort of thing and they live out 24/7 but dont have access to a stable :/
Are you able to leave him in for 2-3 hours. The horse will be sedated to have the injections anyway so would need an hour to wake up. It only takes a few hours for the skin to heal over well enough from needle holes fo be able to go back out.
 

SEL

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HK - i got mine done around lunchtime so by the time the sedation wore off she was ready for a haynet. Then the other horses were brought in for the night so even tho she was used to being out she settled.

The following morning was a very different matter - somersaults in the stable when every one went out.
 

bliss87

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I had my old horses hocks injected when he was 13 and he was fine on them for years. Hes struggling now on them at 21 but he also tore his check ligament and tendon when 17 so has been retired since then. Lack of works seems to have made his hocks deteriorate

my 10 year old RID went lame behind February. I was convinced ligmanets from the get go. Vet came out did a nerve block into the hock and horse went sound, so vet came back out xrayed and injected hock. At the point of praying he did comment he was suprised there wasnt much degenerative changes in his hock. Sound after steroid injections, second I asked for lateral movement lame again. More nerve blocks but starting from fetlock, still lame so ruling out any of the lower flexor tendons. Injected the proximal suspensory and he was sound. Vet back out two days later to re inject hock as apparently they can get the suspensory aswell when doing the hock joint. This time still lame after hock injection.

So after what seemed like a simple arthritis treatment he had actually done his suspensory. In only saying this as to be weary if the xray dont show much change. My other horse that had arthritic hocks you could barely get the needle in for steroid injects there had been so much change
 

Xanthoria

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My 7 yr old was injected yesterday - both hocks (2 joints each) and RF coffin. Symptom was slight lameness in a hind leg, and vet thinks he'd been compensating for an LF injury for so long that all THREE other legs started to feel it... :oops:

He doesn't love being in a stall (box) alone, so I was out at 8.30am today to unwrap his hocks and turn him out. He took off galloping and bucking.... but I know he'll settle with the herd and won't get worked up in the stall.

Vet was Ok with that, but wanted the coffin joint wrap on 48 hours. And she said he can go back to work Friday and "watch out!" because he'll be feeling GREAT. I hope so... he's a very lethargic 17.1+ WB and I am always after him to wake up!

I know you didn't ask, but cost to me was $1100 in California. Which was a bit ouchy... that was about $200/shot + sedation etc... how much per shot in the UK?
 

sidewaysonacob

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My vets have always stressed that after hock injections (my previous and current horse have both needed them), as soon as you're cleared to work the horse, they need as much work as is safe/possible/practical to give the steroids a chance to do their thing - there seems to be a couple of weeks window of opportunity. It's not a scientific sample, but once last year I was poorly during this window and couldn't ride much and the injections didn't make nearly as much of a difference as they usually did.

I've also seen good results from 4Cyte (Epiitalis Forte gel). It's a prescription joint supplement that you put in their food and not cheap if you need a high dose, but the clincher for me was when I found out that most of the large animal vets at the practice I use had put their own horses on it and the physio says she also has lots of clients on it with good results.
 

Xanthoria

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My vets have always stressed that after hock injections (my previous and current horse have both needed them), as soon as you're cleared to work the horse, they need as much work as is safe/possible/practical to give the steroids a chance to do their thing - there seems to be a couple of weeks window of opportunity. It's not a scientific sample, but once last year I was poorly during this window and couldn't ride much and the injections didn't make nearly as much of a difference as they usually did.
That's interesting - can you say why they need a lot of exercise?
 

Leo Walker

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I've also seen good results from 4Cyte (Epiitalis Forte gel). It's a prescription joint supplement that you put in their food and not cheap if you need a high dose, but the clincher for me was when I found out that most of the large animal vets at the practice I use had put their own horses on it and the physio says she also has lots of clients on it with good results.
It most certainly is not prescription only. Its only ingredient is thuja oil which is then bizarrely mixed into soya oil and some apple flavour added. There is some research to indicate that in some circumstances that thuja can act as an anti inflammatory, but they are stretching it a little bit with their wording on ads!
 

scats

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One of mine had her hocks injected in November 2017. Mild arthritis had been found and she had issues with her SI and back which we have managed to sort with the help of our vet chiro (same as Tiddlypoms).
The hock injections made no difference unfortunately, so we sent her back in and actually found she had PSD, albeit mildly.

They often have SI and back issues if they have hock arthritis or PSD, it’s like a knock-on effect and can explain why some horses don’t appear to be ‘lame’. They actually are lame, but they have adjusted themselves so much and tightened up in order to compensate that they end up just looking not quite right. After my vet chiro worked on my horses back and SI, she suddenly presented lame for the first time.
 

sidewaysonacob

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It most certainly is not prescription only. Its only ingredient is thuja oil which is then bizarrely mixed into soya oil and some apple flavour added. There is some research to indicate that in some circumstances that thuja can act as an anti inflammatory, but they are stretching it a little bit with their wording on ads!
Sorry, I missed your reply to this. It was only available through vets when I started buying it so I assumed it was prescription, my bad. I've seen really pleasing results with it (far better than synequin etc.), but your mileage may vary etc. :)

Xanthoria - I assume the work is to slosh the steroids around the joint a lot, to be honest I've never asked the vet why, but I will next time!
 

dominobrown

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I might post the full the story on a seperate post on here but I had my horse injectee in march in both hocks.... got septic arthrtis. Basically the worst that could happen. 10% chance of survival. Worst experience of my life. Still not 100% sound, months later. I would be wary with hoxk injections, unless ypu really need them. 😢
 

SamanthaToby

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That stance would say ulcers to me probably due to the pain. I also found that injections didn't work with my 7 yr old eventer, so managed her carefully. Always turned out but on restricted grazing as shes a fatty. No work or jumping in a school just lots of steady fittening work in straight lines. 5 years on, she's up to Intermediate event level and never had any medication at all. The hocks will remodel and then your horse will move, and feel better. I think surfaces have a big affect on this condition. I stay off them whenever I can with my mare.
Hi, jusat picked up on this and I wonder if you can help me.

My horse had had hock injections (before I got him- and I’m not sure what date) however I have been advised that he is only suitable for being hacked out of because of his stiff hocks- and only in straight lines at that. I have also been advised by others that schooling him slowly will help build up muscles and he will be fine doing school work and the odd show here and there even a bit of dressage (by my instructor). I don't intend on doing any hunting or jumping with him at all.

I'm at a complete loss as to what to do with him now.

He has been schooled for the last 3 months no signs of any problems, in fact, he has started to pull in nicely now and is coming together. He has been hacked out and has decided that he will go off like a tank when on the roads, so hacking is a bit of a worry, but I can work on this.

I'm getting awfully upset and just don't know what to do... any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Horsekaren

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Hi, jusat picked up on this and I wonder if you can help me.

My horse had had hock injections (before I got him- and I’m not sure what date) however I have been advised that he is only suitable for being hacked out of because of his stiff hocks- and only in straight lines at that. I have also been advised by others that schooling him slowly will help build up muscles and he will be fine doing school work and the odd show here and there even a bit of dressage (by my instructor). I don't intend on doing any hunting or jumping with him at all.

I'm at a complete loss as to what to do with him now.

He has been schooled for the last 3 months no signs of any problems, in fact, he has started to pull in nicely now and is coming together. He has been hacked out and has decided that he will go off like a tank when on the roads, so hacking is a bit of a worry, but I can work on this.

I'm getting awfully upset and just don't know what to do... any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
How old is he? and who advised only hacking? did you see any xrays?
My boy was diagnosed with hock arthritis in June, he is only 10. He was stiff behind, hard on one rein and he began to buckle behind. He had his hocks injected and he had a couple of months of down time not really being ridden. In that time i got everything checked, back, saddle, teeth, back again! i then refereed him for a full work up in which he was declared sound (if lacking a bit of oumph behind... but with his hocks being how they are that is just how it is)

The down time living out (he is lives out 24/7 all year) did him the world of good as all the pain he had over his back from me riding him and compensating for pain disappeared. I then then started to walk him in the school for 15 mins then i sent him off to a amazing lady who looked at him holistically (i went and had lessons with her everyday), we changed almost everything to make him comfortable including all tack, she taught him and myself to relax and we have been doing amazing.

I am a wimp hacking, my field is about 5 mins walk to the yard so i ride him up and down there in a straight line and if im feeling super brave i can go a bit further (20 min max on my own) I do school him but i haven't been advised not to. We are doing lots and lots of walk work to build up, id say for every 30 mins i school him 22 mins of it is in walk. i try to avoid doing tonnes of circles and use the entire school. I also enjoy long lining him in his field (in walk) I try not to use the actual school surace more than twice a week and have started doing a lot of ground work in our grass round pen (again mainly walk)

On top of all of the above i am feeding him
Equiflex, MSM , Boswella and Turmaric (sounds like a lot but the concution probably works about about £35.00 a month)

If i was you i would see if you can track down his old xrays or get new ones done. I have released it is a really common issue but it seems that it can be managed :)

From what i understand is by working correctly the muscles will develop and correctly which will help support everything including the hocks.

I wish you all the best of luck with your horse, and my biggest bit of advise would be to listen to your horse :)
 

cundlegreen

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Hi, jusat picked up on this and I wonder if you can help me.

My horse had had hock injections (before I got him- and I’m not sure what date) however I have been advised that he is only suitable for being hacked out of because of his stiff hocks- and only in straight lines at that. I have also been advised by others that schooling him slowly will help build up muscles and he will be fine doing school work and the odd show here and there even a bit of dressage (by my instructor). I don't intend on doing any hunting or jumping with him at all.

I'm at a complete loss as to what to do with him now.

He has been schooled for the last 3 months no signs of any problems, in fact, he has started to pull in nicely now and is coming together. He has been hacked out and has decided that he will go off like a tank when on the roads, so hacking is a bit of a worry, but I can work on this.

I'm getting awfully upset and just don't know what to do... any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Sorry, only just picked this up as been out of the country. I suppose it depends where the arthritis is in the hock. My mare has significant bone spurs on the front of each hock between bottom and middle joint. According to my vet, based on those results, she shouldn't be able to jump, yet is happy up to 1-30m. As I said, I think surfaces have a lot to do with this, and my vet agreed. Most spavins remodel and then the horse can carry on with appropriate care as before, but every horse is different. The holistic approach is always best. I found boswellia did her good when in very hard work, but she has never had any medication, although when she developed a large, potentially operatable windgall, DMSO got rid of all the blood buildup, and surgery was no longer needed. So that's worth thinking about.
 

SamanthaToby

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Sorry, only just picked this up as been out of the country. I suppose it depends where the arthritis is in the hock. My mare has significant bone spurs on the front of each hock between bottom and middle joint. According to my vet, based on those results, she shouldn't be able to jump, yet is happy up to 1-30m. As I said, I think surfaces have a lot to do with this, and my vet agreed. Most spavins remodel and then the horse can carry on with appropriate care as before, but every horse is different. The holistic approach is always best. I found boswellia did her good when in very hard work, but she has never had any medication, although when she developed a large, potentially operatable windgall, DMSO got rid of all the blood buildup, and surgery was no longer needed. So that's worth thinking about.

I have been advised (recently) that he is heavily medicated in his hocks and stifle and that he can't do anything buck hack in lines.... I don't know if to get my vet down and see what he says as over winter hacking out isn't going to be a potion and I don't want him getting stiff. I was a bit gutted that I couldn't show in hand too. I am not sure what else to do with him. I have looked all over for things we can attend.
 
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