arthritis in hock- should I get it injected?
My horse, Clover, has arthritis in both hocks. He is slighly what I guess you would call sickle hocked, which has caused the arthritis. Several years ago I had him x-rayed and he was diagnosed with the arthritis. Since then I have been managing the arthritis with hycoat shots once a month and a daily joint suppliment. However, he still goes off behind at times (to be expected). The fall seems to be the worst time for him. Unfortunatlly, it is the best time to ride. I have been struggling with the decision of whether or not to go ahead and get his hocks injected. Right now we are not really doing much (flat work and occasional jumping). I had a vet out a few months ago to talk about injecting him and decided against it then but he is off again and the BO where I have him boarded seems to think that I should get him injected. She says if it were her horse she would want him to be ridable durring the the best riding season and she would just go ahead and get it done. However, I am nervious about it. I know there are risks and I don't know if I want to take those risks with his health at this point. I do know tho that he may be more comfortable. The other thing is how often will he have to have it done after that, I am afraid to start something and him end up being worse. The other question I have is whether I should have my local vet do it or should I trailer him up to the vet that diagnosed him, Dr. Riddle in MD (much more expensive and we are very very strapped right now- husband is sick and lost his job). I am worried about the risk of infection. I know that is a slight risk but it is still there and could be very serious. So, what experience do those of you here have with this? I am sure some of you have had to make this decision before, why did you decide to do the injection? What did you decide to use? How successful was it?