I bought my cutting horse at the end of October, and he had previously had his hocks injected a few months prior to that because he was getting sore..I've been told by my trainer and several people I ride with, that once they get them injected once, you will need to keep doing it periodically. We train year round, and I am planning on getting his hocks done in the next week or so, mostly because my trainer and a few other girls I ride with have said it would most likely benefit him before show season starts in March (and I have noticed him getting a little sore occasionally lately after a good work out..) Anyways, I've never owned a horse who has gotten hock injections, so just kind of wanted to hear from anyone who has experience with it..I hate to think about having to do this every 6 months or so (it's not cheap, and I've never really been one to treat a horse with medication unless apparently necessary)..Is this something I would probably have to continue doing for the rest of his show career or does it depend on the horse?
All performance horses take a lot of wear and tear over the years from all the fast paced movements they go through. Bone, cartilage, soft tissue, and the fluids in the horse all break down from all the hard work they put in. In my opinion depending on how honest your Vet is (mine always seems to be after money) I would ask them to give him a checkup to see if he would eventually need to be injected again. Good luck hope all is well.
My question would be what type of injection?
If the horse was injected with one of the many joint fluid supplements/replacements (most common is Adequan), that's one thing. Many performance horses receive these injections routinely on a preventative basis to prevent joint damage and arthritis. It's your decision whether or not to continue them, however, if the previous owner got good results, I'd be inclined to continue them. How frequently depends on your competition schedule.
If the injections were steroids, or a combination of steroid and Adequan or other joint supplement, that's a big red flag. Steroid injections do little or nothing to help the underlying problem, however, they reduce the inflammation and pain and make the horse temporarily sound. There's nothing wrong with injecting steroids to interrupt the cycle of inflammation and make the horse comfortable, but if a horse needs regular steroid injections to compete, he has a very short competitive career and probably needs a career change.
IMO, steroid injections need to be followed by time off and a change in work routine.
BTW, all of this is my opinion based on my experience and is not to be confused with actual veterinary advice.
If he's getting sore, I'd have my vet evaluate him and if needed do the injections. I'd also be putting him on a good joint supplement so that when the newest set of injections would wear off, maybe the supplements would have taken over and new injections might not be needed. A case of can't hurt, might help and you could either eliminate or stretch the length of time between injections. I have had horses injected when needed and they've done a lot of good. I have not had a horse that needed injecting every 6 months though, at that point I'd be looking at making a trail horse out of them or something because they just weren't holding up under training.
My horse does not get injections since he is still young and in good health, but another (older) horse at our barn does. The BO says it just brings out a younger version of him, so they benefit him very well.
Again, it depends what kind of injections you're talking about. Good luck with everything!
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First X ray. This is a must before any injections. Next ask your self do you want a quick fix which that is what Injecting the hock is. Or do you want the horse to start fixing the problem?
I have been reining for about 15 years and have only had one horse injected one time. Only b/c she needed a quick fix.
What I have found that works very well is Gluecosamine injections IM and Bioscan Pads and keeping the horse up to date on Chiro. This is the best preventitive you can do. This gets the horse to make that it needs to replace lost fluid in the joint and the Bioscan pads gets the fluid into the joint and helps circulation. Chiro keeps the horse inline so they work properly and lesens the strain on the horses body and joints.
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