Slipping hock

Vickysma

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Hi, my 9year old gelding as been diagnosed having a slipping hock, I have trawled the Internet and can not find very much information on this condition , was wondering if any one has come across this. My vet advised to keep riding him
 

be positive

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Do you mean slipping patella or stifle which is fairly common, never heard of slipping hock and cannot see how the hock joint could slip and the horse remain sound enough to ride, they can have a tendon slip off the hock but that will certainly not be something you can ride with.
 

Vickysma

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Hi , the vet advised the tendon isn't running over the hock as it should , but slipping over the side of the hock , this causes him to lift his leg as if in a spasm for about 30 seconds , he advised to ride him , he is the top vet at the equestrian hospital but I don't feel happy about riding him to rectify this problem , ?
 

be positive

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Well I suppose they should know what is best but like you it seems wrong to ride a horse that seems to be distressed and from doing a little googling it seems that usually they require rest for some time then be brought back to work, the prognosis seems varied and the success rate also very mixed, I would get a physio involved as they are usually very good with rehab and may have treatment ideas that will help with recovery which are not medical or surgical so not always considered by the vets, many vets forget there are good therapists available who work alongside the veterinary profession.
 

KrujaaLass

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Is he ok after the spasm. If it is locking stifle or patella the best thing is exercise especially up hill. Have you had him long
 

Vickysma

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He takes a few strides afterwards before moving properly again . I have had him 4 years , this started about a month ago . I rested him up first before the vet diagnosed this. I rode him a couple of days ago for the first time and it happened a couple of times just in walk on a short hack
 

Cragrat

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I vaguely remember a 4* eventer had this, many years ago- possibly resolved once the tendon came off properly and stayed off.

My TB I had many years ago(grandmother of my current one ) wrenched the tendon off one hock with a loud crack - I honestly thought she had snapped a bone. She was horrendously lame, but once the surrounding tissue damage healed, she had a mechanical limp until the muscles tightened, and after a year in the field she was totally sound and competing.
 

First Flame

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My girl has recently had this happen to both her hocks (think caused by her age (21) and a change to remedial farriery to "help" another issue, I think "normally" it is a galloping type injury). My vet also advised that I keep her in ridden work! Up until Dec last year she was still lightly working in the school at advanced dressage level although retired from competing a couple of years before, so he definitely didn't want her box rested or retired completely.

When the first tendon came off the hock she was quite lame initially but it soon settled and she continued hacking happily walk/trot/canter but she was left with a slight funny action on the hock in trot, vet advised this was more because of the sensation of the tendon moving as opposed to pain. She did almost come sound on it however I then noticed the same signs on the other hock :-(

She did struggle a lot more when the second one went and it was touch and go as to whether I put her to sleep (vet didn't think she needed to be) but it wasn't nice seeing her struggle however I am very much glad I didn't as a couple of weeks on she is bright as a button and back out lightly hacking! Even at the time when she was at her worst my vet still wanted her hacking, I couldn't quite do this so I compromised by walking her in hand and I do believe this actually really helped her as it helped her get used to the sensation of the tendon slipping. She was never box rested but even in the field she was very quiet so getting her moving really helped.

She does have regular physio so she doesn't get sore elsewhere if she compensates in some way.

I think from my research different horses react to this injury very differently. My friends horse had this happen years ago and he would panic, gallop off and kick out when the tendon slipped so he was retired from ridden work! I spoke to someone else whose horse came sound and was back eventing within a year! Do trust your vet, I thought mine was mad when he still wanted her ridden after the second one but he wasn't wrong (he's also a top vet so didn't want to question his judgement) but at the same time you know your horse and what you are comfortable doing! I wasn't comfortable riding mine initially so I didn't but people at my yard thought I was mad hand walking her when she struggled but they now say, you were right, you know your horse and knew walking her would help!
 

Vickysma

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Thanks to everyone for your posts this is all really interesting and helpful, I'm going to see how he goes , have a few gentle hacks . I will update for future reference
 

Pebble101

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Do you mean slipping patella or stifle which is fairly common, never heard of slipping hock and cannot see how the hock joint could slip and the horse remain sound enough to ride, they can have a tendon slip off the hock but that will certainly not be something you can ride with.

Mine has had this in both hocks. Very painful to start but small pen turnout for a couple of months. I am now riding him again but mainly walk and certainly he won't event again.

It was Columbus and I think it was both hocks for him. There was another Irish event horse that suddenly shot off seemingly out of control - same thing had happened. And having had a quick look at the internet it happened to the American horse Biko.
 
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