Nerve/joint blocks cost? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-23-2013, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Nerve/joint blocks cost?

Does anyone know what the cost is for doing nerve blocks during a lameness exam? She may need her hocks blocked as well.

The vet I have coming out gave me a quote, but I forgot to ask the cost of blocks.

I was quoted $150 for the lameness exam, $500 for hock injections of uppers and lowers, $150 for a 4 view X ray study of the hocks. No trip fee.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-23-2013, 10:05 PM
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Blocks will depend on the vet. Why are you looking to block? Usually they block low and move higher. The point of the block is to eliminate joints/areas as sources of lameness. If you think the lameness is in the foot or lower leg joints than your local veterinarian can do it. If you think the lameness is in the hips, stifle, back or shoulders an equine specialists would be the best bet. These upper joints are surrounded by a lot of tissue and it can be difficult to access these joints on the farm. I would do blocks first and then injections. You can waste a lot of money injecting hocks when your blocks would tell you the fetlock is the problem area.
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-24-2013, 11:11 AM
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My mare had 4 or 5 nerve blocks in May along with a full lameness exam with the lameness locator, 2 views of her 2 front feet and an ultrasound and exam relating to her reproductive organs. The total bill was about $400. Unfortunately they didn't find the reason for the lameness in the left hind and found a mild rotation in her right front. Now her lameness has worsened int he left hind. Had the chiropractor out yesterday which for sure helped her back as she was out in many places but not sure about the lameness. Vet thinks it could be cushings and has put her on prascend. I'm very perplexed but anyway...hope those numbers help you and you get some answers!
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-24-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie View Post
If you think the lameness is in the foot or lower leg joints than your local veterinarian can do it.
I'm going to disagree with this statement.

Not that the local vets don't have their worth, but I think if you are dealing with ANY lameness problem, then you should be seeing a specialized lameness equine vet. Because most people have no idea where in the leg (or even which leg) is causing the lameness.

But yes, your vet will first do a lameness eval which often involves flexing each of the horse's legs several times and having the horse trot off in a straight line. Also observing how the horse moves in a circle. From that, the vet will determine which leg appears to be affected.

Then the nerve block, you start at the bottom and work your way up. This may take some time, if the defect is high in the leg. It takes a good 15 to 20 minutes (if my memory serves me) for the block to take effect, and then you'll go do the flexing and circles again to see if there is improvement. If not, the block will go a little higher. If still lameness, the block will go a little higher. Etc. It'll be "cheaper" if the injury is lower in the leg, because it will take less time and nerve blocks to find it.

Don't assume you'll need injections. X-rays and ultrasound are worth their weight in gold to see what's going on inside the leg.

I'm blanking out on what my vet charges (although I'm making a trip to her tomorrow) but I want to say it is around $200 for the lameness eval, and probably about $200 for a 4-view xray. Injections I'm not sure.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-24-2013, 11:52 AM
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like anything, the cost varies with your location.

I recently had a horse taken to the vet's location(no barn call fee) and the lameness exam was 110$, nerve block was 40$. I did not do the Xrays, but they would have been $250 for Four views of the fetlock. Since I do not own the horse , I was hesitant to spring for the Xrays, and asked him for his "guess" as to problem. Vet said, assuming it is arthritis (most probable for this horse, this age, these symptoms), injections of joint would be the best bet for treatment.
I was quoted about $500 for joint injections for the fetlock (two locations within it)
so, am ruminating on this and since horse is not horribly lame, we are letting him rest to see if he will heal on his own.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-24-2013, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
I'm going to disagree with this statement.

Not that the local vets don't have their worth, but I think if you are dealing with ANY lameness problem, then you should be seeing a specialized lameness equine vet. Because most people have no idea where in the leg (or even which leg) is causing the lameness.

But yes, your vet will first do a lameness eval which often involves flexing each of the horse's legs several times and having the horse trot off in a straight line. Also observing how the horse moves in a circle. From that, the vet will determine which leg appears to be affected.

Then the nerve block, you start at the bottom and work your way up. This may take some time, if the defect is high in the leg. It takes a good 15 to 20 minutes (if my memory serves me) for the block to take effect, and then you'll go do the flexing and circles again to see if there is improvement. If not, the block will go a little higher. If still lameness, the block will go a little higher. Etc. It'll be "cheaper" if the injury is lower in the leg, because it will take less time and nerve blocks to find it.

Don't assume you'll need injections. X-rays and ultrasound are worth their weight in gold to see what's going on inside the leg.

I'm blanking out on what my vet charges (although I'm making a trip to her tomorrow) but I want to say it is around $200 for the lameness eval, and probably about $200 for a 4-view xray. Injections I'm not sure.
IME I have to agree. My local vet was good a diagnosing founder but past that has not been of any help in my lameness at all. He is actually the one who referred me to the lameness vet. He doesn't even have xray equipment.
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