Horse with OCD(osteochondritis dessicans)

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Horse with OCD(osteochondritis dessicans)

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    06-27-2013, 07:59 PM
Horse with OCD(osteochondritis dessicans)

I have a 4 year old Quarter Horse who has been having lots of soreness in both back hocks. This started about a couple months ago when we noticed she would lay down a lot and have trouble getting back up. Both hocks became very swollen and you could tell the horse was in pain. We had the vet out and she took some x-rays of both of them. Upon reviewing them, she then sent them to the Wisconsin Equine Clinic, who also determined that my horse Rosie has OCD. I was told that I should find a joint supplement to put her on.(She has been on Flex Max for over a month now and it hasn't helped) Well, a few of the vets x-rays didn't develop right so she came back for a second visit. On the second visit, the vet wanted to see how Rosie moved. We first took her at a walk. Then we decided we would try to trot.(Not riding I should add) After trotting, she would not put weight on the back right leg. My vet then told me we should inject both hocks and give her bute for awhile and see how she is. So we did......with no results. While at the farm, the vet took new x-rays and they were once again forwarded to the vet in Madison for a second opinion. Now I am being told that Rosie has the worst case of OCD that they have ever seen. My options are doing a treatment that costs $900 per treatment and she would need several. Then they went on telling me that the treatment is a hit or miss. WHAT???? Our next option is to keep her on pasture and maybe within a couple years she would heal up and be sound for light riding only! ????? Our last option.......put her to sleep. I am at a complete loss on what to do. Me and Rosie had a rough start in our relationship with each other as it was a battle between green rider and green horse(yes I know...I bought the wrong horse to begin with) but somehow we managed to figure each other out and have gotten to really have respect for each other. Well, now I am hit with this outcome for her. I have no clue what to do. I am waiting to hear from the vet from Madison, but meanwhile I am told to put her down. Has anybody ever had to deal with a horse with OCD? And what was the outcome for your horse?

*Sorry for the rambling. Just very upset about this right now!
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    06-27-2013, 08:11 PM
Yes, on a filly I bred and raised but it was with her stifle. After a few months, I ended up putting her down. The joint was basically falling apart. I could have paid to have it flushed to relieve some pain but it was not going to change her outcome. I truly understand your situation. All I can say is for you to sleep on it and take a look at all angles. It is about what is best for your horse. I know it is hard....
    06-27-2013, 09:14 PM
Thank you for the reply. Its not going to be an easy decision. Rosie is my first horse and has already taught me so much and we really have formed an awesome bond in the short time we have been with each other. This is not the way I expected my experience of a first horse to be... :(
    06-27-2013, 10:04 PM
Umfortunately, you need to look at this horse's quality of life. If she is going to be in pain 24/7 and no treatment has helped, putting her down is the best thing you can do for her. If you really love her, its sometimes the best thing to do. It sucks being an animal lover/owner for this exact reason.

On a side note, I have a dog diagnosed with ocd in his back left hock. He's on antiinflammatory/pain reliever, gluclosamine/chondriotin/msm supplement in high doses, and his activity level had to be diminished. We have to be careful about how much 'outside' time he gets because he will literally go all day. He walks fine on great days, limps on his decent days, and on bad days he wont even put weight on the leg at all.

Surgery was quoted between 2000-4500 at msu vet college. Which is just too much to to spend without knowing for sure if he will be back to 100 percent.

Good luck with your horse and your decisions.

Any future horse you purchase, do a pre purchase exam. I learned the hard way unfortunately. Sounds like you may have as well with this poor girl. Poor rosie.

If she were my horse, id put her down and end her pain forever.
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    06-27-2013, 10:09 PM
I know its what I have to do and I have talked to the vet about it. I will be giving her the call tomorrow for our final decision..
    06-28-2013, 08:42 AM
Your story sounds very similar to my sister's filly, even to the diagnosis at WEC.
Sorry to say that the outcome wasn't good & we tried surgery.
Another friend also had a gelding with OCD, also not good outcome.
Both horses had good breeding but strangely both had irritable temperaments when started under saddle. We later figured out that they must have had pain with any kind of work. Their lesions were in the large bones of the shoulder & hind legs.
I'm sorry you are going through this.
    06-28-2013, 11:01 AM
OCD in the hocks I have been told is one of the best place for a horse to get them. Is surgery an option for you guys?
    06-28-2013, 11:08 AM
I just talked to a vet from the Wisconsin equine clinic and have been told that usually they can fuse bones back together, but in Rosies case no. There is a spot that has severe arthritis and surgery will not help and neither will any type of injection. She will progressively get worst and most likely will get to a point where she will not move. Vet couldnt believe that she is doing well with arthritis that severe. He was talking as if she could be a strange exception to the rule but we still have no hope. Well, I guess a decision is now made.
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    06-28-2013, 11:08 AM
Green Broke
The prognosis for a horse with Osteochondrosis is poor. There are usually reasons for the disease including being too well fed and overweight as a foal as well as a genetic predisposition. This means the horse will likely not ever be sound for real work and is not a good candidate for breeding. The horse will be sore and have a poor quality of life.

The best answer is to put the horse down.

Been there and done that. Heartbreaking. Quarter horses can be more prone to the issue.
    06-28-2013, 11:09 AM
Green Broke
I am so sorry.

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