Hock Arthritis Info Needed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Hock Arthritis Info Needed

My 8 y.o. horse just got diagnosed with hock arthritis 11 days ago. X Ray confirmed.

Apparently he's probably had it for years. He was lame all last year, two vets, several thoughts of why he was lame, and a chiro later, we still didn't have a clue as to what was going on.

I finally found a lameness specialist and he knew within the first minute of why he was lame.

I definitely see the stiffness and the inability to flex in his hinds, but, it's his fronts that are so hard to move. He walks like he's drunk, very hard to make turns and to go downhill.

I am looking at any and all info I can gather on what to expect, what helped, hurt, how you dealt with it etc.

I have the xrays, but, I have no idea what % the fusion is at.

My horse is VERY lame in the fronts. My vet said this is normal. I understand about the balancing etc I suppose to a certain degree. I would be especially interested if anyone else's horse had front lameness due to hock arthritis.

My vet gave him hock injections, started him on glucosamine, msm mix, bute for 7 days and put him on previcox (Used in dogs for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis) and told me to start exercising him in two weeks. Well, so far he is still too lame to exercise.

I do have the same vet coming back here again Wed. But, if you have any helpful insights I would really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Last edited by Horsegma; 05-09-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: East Texas
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If he is too lame to do work after hock injections and anti-inflammatories then you need a recheck and possibly a second opinion. Anytime an animal doesn't respond to treatment as expected, you need to figure out why because it's likely that the treatment wasn't effective and that there is something else going on then what was initially diagnosed.

The comment that he "walks like he is drunk" makes me very concerned that there is more than a pain-associated lameness going on here. If the previous vet didn't do one, a full neurological exam should be performed to determine if he really is that painful or if he is actually having neurological deficits.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Cindy, I thought the walking like he was drunk would bring up some neurology comments and should have elaborated more. (Not that I am even ruling it out, it's just that at this time, I think it's not, more than it could be)

He only walks like this when he has been inactive for awhile and starts out walking again. And even then it's not all the time. What he is doing is over crossing the one front foot in front of the other front.

I called my vet up after his initial visit and asked him very pointedly, "Could my horse be THIS lame in his fronts because of the hock arthritis?" He said "yes"! I am still very cautious with this answer, and am quite frankly not letting it rest. This is one of the reasons why I am asking for any and all info I can get with other people's experience.

What is involved with a full neurological exam?

Sad to say that this is my 3rd vet opinion. My only other option of another vet will be to take him to the UW. The money has now become an issue. Just this last vet bill was over $800 and I have him coming again this week! I am trying to get to the bottom of this using the net as much as I can to make some educated decisions. ( I am one of these people who believe that the net can be very useful, but, at the same time, know that info is not coming from vets, etc, but, from people who have lived through the experience)

I haven't given up, but, as a lot of you know, it's a very confusing time to get to the bottom of lameness issues.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 01:27 PM
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Location: East Texas
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For what is involved in a neuro exam, check this website:
The Neurological Examination - Part I : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

If it is just after he's been inactive, it may be that it is related to pain. I've seen the same sort of thing in my 34 year old pony. Are you stalling your horse? Is he turned out with other horses? Is he actually on pasture or eating hay?

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N.W. Ohio
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My older reining stallions come up a bit lame on the front end this spring when I started working him again. It has been quite a few years now since he has really been worked so he has not been getting the Injectable Gluecosamine that he was when I was showing him and like the show horses get. So I had my Chiro/bioscan out and she worked on him for about 2 hours. Found where he was off and what was up. Most part was hocks. You could tell by the way he loped that he was getting to the point of having issues. She suggested I start using my Bioscan pad, hock savers, and Light cap, and Migun on him starting the next day which I was thinking about anyway. Well took that treatment and 3 days he has no stiffness or issues is not lame is loping normally again. I have found that this works great for all my reiners and I have yet to have a reiner who has had any real issues when I keep them on this regamine. Should have not stopped like I did with him.

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