Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern California
Hock Issues and Thoughts on Surgical Fusion, Insurance Coverage?
I have a 7yo OTTB mare who is the absolute love of my life. Over the past 6 months she has been having hock issues.
It first started to manifest as a sore back, then tossing her head when going up hills and finally I sat on her bareback and she fell down on her butt in the back end. She's stiff, drags her toes, and always feels like she's about to fall down in the back end when I am riding her.
Of course I had the vet come out and she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both of her hocks with the right being worse. We did hock injections in both hocks and she seemed much better for a few weeks. Unfortunately after about 6 weeks the same signs of hock pain came back.
My vet came back out and recommended reinjecting the hocks which we did. She mentioned that sometimes the first injections arent enough to completely get rid of the swelling so a second round is needed. When she did the injections the second time the joint fluid was much better than it had been the first time but she was still sore.
I rode her for the first time a week post second injections and she still seemed ouchy and sore in the back. Of course I will give her some time to see if things get better but I am worried the injections arent working. The other thing to note is that right after the injections both times she is soooooo much more comfortable when not being ridden. She runs and bucks and acts like a crazy horse in turnout which she never did before so I know that they are working somewhat, just not completely.
My questions are...
-What are your thoughts on joint fusion in BOTH legs? Laser, drill, or alcohol?
-Has anyone had it done and how much did it cost?
-She has a 10,000 dollar insurance policy with American Equine. Does anyone have any experience with the surgery being covered by their insurance plan?
-Did the surgery fix your horse's pain?
Just looking for general thoughts and experiences with the surgery. I absolutely love this mare and want to anything I can for her. It crushes me that she is painful.