Fluid Build-up In Hocks
I've been debating about this for a while. I used to have my mare on Maxflex XR joint supplement to help with her hocks. She seems to be very prone to fluid build-up in her hind legs, especially her hocks. Sometimes if she's in overnight, she'll stock up right above her hind fetlocks. But the fluid in her hocks never seems to completely go away. If I don't ride her for a while (which I mean like almost a month) it'll go away, but anything else it'll still be there. Also her left seems to be worse then her right, and when I checked them tonight the left was hot. Which is odd because usually it's just fluid not heat. I've also have spent hours hosing her hind legs, it barely makes a difference, if at all.
I've had the vet out to see what I can do about it, and he basically said that she'll probably have arthritis in the future and to put her on a joint supplement. (Which she was already on one at the time.)
The Maxflex XR doesn't seem make any difference with the fluid build up, and she's still stiff when you pick up her hind legs and occasionally when she canters. She's not stiff when she canters if she's excited, but any other time she's stiff. Now it's not noticeable to most people. I doubt anyone would even notice if I didn't tell them. I've just owned her long enough to be able to see her happy/regular canter from her slower/stiff canter.
I want to try magnetic therapy, but I'm not sure if it'll make a difference?
I do still want to keep her on a joint supplement, but something stronger. Maybe Cosequin, or one person I talked to suggested Adequan?
Another person said that maybe all she needs is a good liniment?
If anyone has any suggestions, or who has dealt with a horse with this problem PLEASE leave a post. This is driving me nuts!
From what you describe, my OTTB has the same thing.....his buildup is between his fetlock and his hock on his right leg as well as significant heat in both joints. He was on the track for nine years (he's 11 now) so if he develops arthritis it wouldn't surprise me. Sometimes its his left leg, but the right always seems to be a little more puffy to me. With steady work it does goes down, however.
As far as joint supplements go, I have my guy on Flex Force with H/A (its a pellet, but they also offer a liquid form) and that has all of the joint remedies that are recommended. I like it because for the price, it does its job well. A liniment could work, but I would get one that has a warming action, not a cooling action, and maybe also one that you can use with massage therapy.
The "fluid" thats built up is most likely lymph....on especially bad days you can try massaging it upwards into her flank area and towards the center of her body. This is what my massage therapist taught me to do with Ice, since he tends to stock up in his shoulders as well. You'd want to use the palm of your hand flat on the leg, or even use the heel of your palm and apply a decent amount of continuous pressure upwards. You don't want to massage down, as the fluid has nowhere else to go once it reaches the hoof--by massaging upwards, you help it move back into the rest of the body.
Magnetic therapy could be an option, I've seen leg wraps and the like on ebay for decent prices.
I would try linament, it couldnt help.
I make a mix
- 1/2 spray bottle bigeoil
-1/4 witch hazel
-1/4 wintergreen alcohol
- top w/ water
Mix that up, spray some on and rub in well. Dont wrap it up.
:-)I am sorry to hear about your horse - I know the feeling! My gelding has thoroughpin problems in both hocks and he has the same "stocking up" issues that you mentioned. My Vet told me his off and on lameness was due to adhesions between the deep digital flexor tendon and the tarsal sheath and an occasional irritation leads to the swelling - she put him on a dose of POLYGLYCAN injections - I started once a week for a month, once every other week for a month, and now, once a month. I didn't notice any immediate change, but I do now that he has been on the therapy for a while. I have tried magnetic therapy - I can't really tell you that I noticed any significant difference - that may have been my fault because I was not religious with the treatment at first. He is still stiff, but with the Polyglycan, he does seem more comfortable. My Vet did mention that she could drain the thoroughpins and inject a corticosteroid, then apply pressure bandages but she is not a fan of continuous injections because that can injure the tendon. So, for now, we're doing the Polyglycan injections and the magnetic therapy - he seems to have more trouble in the winter because of the cold and arthritis, I suppose.
I also use ActiFlex Powder as a joint supplement and I really like it! I've tried others, but the ActiFlex seems to do a better job for my guy.
I wish you the best of luck! I know your Vet will be able to diagnose and treat the problem you horse is dealing with. Hock issues are so frustrating!
Happens a lot with performance horses.
Here's how most deal with it:
Go to a good feed store and get some leg mud--they will know what you mean (looks like the joint compound used with taping and floating drywall)-- apply it liberally below and above the fluid buildup--wrap it in paper towels--then plastic wrap--then a normal leg wrap. Keep it on overnite and then pull it all off and wash off the mud. If the leg is hot use a cooling gel--the feed store should have some (looks like green jello) and do the same thing.
The fluid is what does the damage so its got to go.
How often depends on how much work and how much fluid.
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