Arthritic hocks

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Arthritic hocks

This is a discussion on Arthritic hocks within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How much white willow bark should I give my horse for pain
  • Arthritic horse exercises

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    03-08-2012, 09:41 PM
Arthritic hocks

I have a 12 year old Quarter Horse that is beginning to feel his age. He was about 9 or 10 years old when he was diagnosed with some mild arthritis in his right hind hock. He has been fine up until recently. We took a longer then usual trail ride - ended up doing a lot of road riding because we ended up lost. He has been sore in his hocks since.

He has been kept on white willow bark for the last two years. A natural antiinflammatory and pain relief. He gets 1 tbsp once daily. I have been considering upping it back to 1 tbsp twice daily.

He gets a daily glucosamine/chondroitin/msm supplement. He has been on a different supplement lately due to an error in ordering through the clinic. This contains 6,000mg glucosamine HCL, 1,500mg chondroitin and 1,200mg MSM among some other ingredients. He gets this once daily in his morning feed.

He is normally been on a liquid supplement that contains 10,000mg Glucosamine HCL, 2,500mg Chondroitin Sulphate, 2,000mg MSM among some other ingredients. He got this once daily as well. It's by the same company technically just contains a little bit more in terms of its major components. It was a very easy error in order numbers.

I have been using a topical pain reliever on his hocks and continuing light exercise to keep him moving. He is a heavier horse and we have been trying to get some weight off. He is fed free choice grass hay and recieves a vit/mineral supplement by Purina (ration balancer) this is a pretty recient thing (previous on Buckeye Grow n' Win). He is an easy keeper so he has never gotten much.

I'm considering increasing the white willow bark and glucosamine to twice daily. Does anyone have opinions on this? This would give him 12,000mg glucosamine, 3,000 chondroitin and 2,400mg MSM each day in addition to White Willow Bark.

I am also looking for a good product to apply topically to help relieve discomfort and inflammation. I couldn't tell you the name of the product I have been using but I'm almost out and its not carried locally anymore. Would you recommend just a liniment? Or is there something more effective I'm not thinking of?

I feel like a bad horse mom. I don't know the recommended glucosamine dose for a horse as well as I do small animals. I think the increase would be OK but you think his veterinarian would tell me without seeing him? Nope! I use Ubavet products. We use Ubavet in small animals with success. The only way I could get something different is through a large animal vet and it has an insane mark-up. I will do so only if necessary.
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    03-09-2012, 07:37 PM
Just as an update... I consulted with 2 veterinarians in the small animal practice that have equine experience and multiple technicians who agreed increasing the dose for both the glucosamine supplement and white willow bark should not cause him harm.

I am hitting up a tack shop sale later this weekend to see what I can pick up to ease his discomfort topically.
    03-09-2012, 09:34 PM
I would give products such as Pentosan a go. Not sure what you would have available in Canada, but in Australia Pentosan is probably the most widely used intramuscular treatment given for joint troubles.
It would also be worth having the hock xrayed. It may not be a case of simple arthritis, the joints could be fusing, he could have a spur forming/formed among other things. In which case, simply pumping him full of oral and topical treatments won't do a thing.
My gelding had fusing lower joints in his right hock, with a spur forming as well. I was advised to avoid anything that was designed to protect the joint fluid, as it would prolong fusion and the horse would be lame for longer. Unfortunately he never fully fused and continued to have issues, therefore was put to sleep (he also had suspensory and extensor injuries sustained in the paddock).

It certainly pays to know what you're dealing with and treat accordingly.

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