osteoartheritis in horse

tammy42

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Hi have a Welsh Cob with osteoartheritis in one hock and both coffin joints, has been medicated, helped a bit but asking myself is there much point emptying my bank account any more? What's the honest reality of osteo, how manageable is it, it's obviously not curable and will get progressively worse, am I just delaying the inevitable, anyone's thoughts please
 

applecart14

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Hi have a Welsh Cob with osteoartheritis in one hock and both coffin joints, has been medicated, helped a bit but asking myself is there much point emptying my bank account any more? What's the honest reality of osteo, how manageable is it, it's obviously not curable and will get progressively worse, am I just delaying the inevitable, anyone's thoughts please

Wow, you sound really down in the dumps Tammy 42, but I know how you feel from personal experience. Most horses of older age who have had busy lives will have arthritis. My horse has spavin in both hocks so went down the joint medication route, had steroid injections for a couple of years then had TIldren. Eventually in around 2011/2012 had fusion with ethanol and has never looked back. Its a brilliant treatment, cost me £300 to have both hocks treated and the nerve endings are killed with the alchohol which is injected into the joint space so the pain factor goes. He still drags his toes but only when he is being lazy and never uphill. If I push him on he doesn't drag his toes at all. He can lift his feet to pick out much higher, and went back to jumping/dressaging at a decent unaffiliated level until injuries due to other problems meant a reduction in competitions.

There is plenty of life left in horses after a diagnosis of arthritis. When I was told in about 2008 my horse had spavin I thought it was the end. Now I smile about how naïve I was and you will do this too in time.

The coffin joint problem can be fixed with remedial shoeing, or pads put under the foot to 'cushion' the concussive forces put on them. You can ride your horse more forward into the contact and ask him to use his back end more to get the weight of the forehand (which he will do once his hocks are pain free and this will help him move better and reduce any pain in his feet) and you can put him on a good joint supplement. You need to manage his weight too, the more weight an arthritic horse carries the more strain on the joints. Arthritis is more of a management thing than anything, your horse needs as much turn out and daily riding as you can do. My horse doesn't go out much in the winter due to restricted turnout but I prefer this due to the injury he has which would make wading through thick mud a nightmare.

Make sure the surfaces he is ridden on are good and not too firm, i.e. don't jump on hard ground in the summer for example and you will find that your horse has the capacity for many more years of fun and competitions.

If you ask the vet he may offer your horse bute which fed at a small level, i.e. quarter to half a sachet a day will ease any stiffness that occurs with his arthritis or you can put him on 'buteless' or 'butefree'.

Here's a link to the ethyl fusion technique. http://www.horseandrideruk.com/article.php?id=2414
 
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Gotcha!

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My 10 yr old DW was just diagnosed with mild high ringbone. He was showing lameness only under saddle, but then it started to be visible on lunge. He is on bute, then farrier is coming out that has worked with my vet in past to shoe him in a manner that hopefully will help. He is a big boy but in great shape, and I intend to do everything within my power to 1) make sure he is comfortable, 2) get him back so he can do lower level dressage/trails or more. Don't give up.
 

applecart14

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Tammy 42 you never got back to me, but there are loads of treatment options available, best speak to your vet. All the photos in my siggy are of my horse after he had been treated with ethanol fusion, but he was equally comfortable with the steroid injections and Tildren although they only offered him shorter term relief.
 

tammy42

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1000 apologies applecart, not forgotten or ignored you post. Will reply, have chatted with vet since and got option I wanted now but was never offered....Cartropen! Hopefully that will go long way to helping him!
 
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