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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 10 year old Grade QH Grey pinto gelding who was just diagnosed with juvenile hock arthritis. He had his jocks injected today. The Vet said the right hock was almost fused. She said we would start with the injections and see how it works and he may need to be on Equinox.
I had him examined because he has fallen down while I have been riding him before. Once at the walk, down to his knees. Once at the canter, also to his knees. Once when I was picking his feet, to his knees again and about 4 months ago at the extended trot all the way over on his side. I have not ridden him much since then. Obviously I don’t want to die. I have had a few Veterinarians look at him before but none that did a full lameness work up. I’ve checked for EPM neg and selenium Vit e levels, normal.
I don’t see much of a future for doing hard core trails like I had planned.
ive had him about 11/2 years.

if anyone has experience with this, I’d like to hear it.
 

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What is the vet injecting the joint with? Joint lubricant or alcohol to help the fusing process?
I believe it's painful for the horse while he's going through it but the pain subsides after fusion is complete.

I think @beau159 went through this with Red a few years back.
 
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I wonder if he has elbow joint arthritis as well, Does he have a double jointed kind of movement at the elbow, especially going down a slope (even gentle). It looks like a wobble. My old gelding had this, it made him very cautious or slow going down hills.
 

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I have a 10 year old Grade QH Grey pinto gelding who was just diagnosed with juvenile hock arthritis. He had his jocks injected today. The Vet said the right hock was almost fused. She said we would start with the injections and see how it works and he may need to be on Equinox.
if anyone has experience with this, I’d like to hear it.
Been there done that. Several times.

See how the injections go. They should work wonders for the pain that fusion causes.
When the joint is almost fused, sometimes the vet won't even be able to get a needle in there anymore. But hypothetically by that point, they should not be bothered much by the pain because the process is completed.
And if the injections don't resolve all the pain, yes, Equioxx can work very well to "pick up the slack".

I assume your vet did xrays? What else? Flexions? nerve blocks?

I had him examined because he has fallen down while I have been riding him before. Once at the walk, down to his knees. Once at the canter, also to his knees. Once when I was picking his feet, to his knees again and about 4 months ago at the extended trot all the way over on his side. I have not ridden him much since then. Obviously I don’t want to die. I have had a few Veterinarians look at him before but none that did a full lameness work up. I’ve checked for EPM neg and selenium Vit e levels, normal.
I don’t see much of a future for doing hard core trails like I had planned.
ive had him about 11/2 years.
So did your most recent vet trip also check for this?
Did they do a full lameness eval?
Xrays?

Tripping on the front feet most likely could point to a front feet issue or could be higher up like knee, shoulder, neck, etc.
So really depends what the full lameness eval showed.

I recently had to retire (and then sold) a horse who was tripping.
He was a bit more of a rarity as the neck specialist had "never seen this before" in her words. His entire neck had the vertebrae tilted forward and sideways which was pressing on his spinal cord, and causing him to trip on his front feet (worse on right front). Obviously not safe for barrel racing!! Luckily, he's a wonderful horse and I re-homed him to a family that loves to go on leisure trail rides, at a walk, couple times a month, while drinking a beer. They love him. And he's got a new career and a great home.

I think @beau159 went through this with Red a few years back.
And then some. ;) Fusing hocks are a piece of cake at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi. So, vet did flexion tests. Didn’t X-ray. I don’t know why. I said to do whatever needed to be done. She could barely get the needle in the right hock. He was injected with steroids. I think depomedrol?
 

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Was that your grey horse with the neck issues?
Yes it was.

Hi. So, vet did flexion tests. Didn’t X-ray. I don’t know why. I said to do whatever needed to be done. She could barely get the needle in the right hock. He was injected with steroids. I think depomedrol?
And.... with that, I would NEVER use this vet again. How on earth does she know that his hocks are fusing if she did not do an xray?
Heck, how can she say he has arthritis without doing an xray???
I have a real big problem with vets that "blindly inject" into a joint without doing a very basic xray.
Yes, if they are fusing, the joint will be "tight" and difficult to get the needle in, but again, she is making assumptions.
Okay, so that's my soap box on that. Makes me mad when vets do that. It's one thing if you have an established horse with a history of X,Y,and Z and you and the vet have a good relationship and know said horse, sure, you can skip xrays sometimes. But not on a brand new horse or a brand new case. That's a hard "NO" for me.
Yes, a steroid cocktail of some kind is usually pretty standard for injections.

Did the vet comment on his tripping episodes?
Did she say anything about his front feet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Below are the notes from the Vet
Lameness Exam
Tranquilizer w/Dormo
10 mg dorm IV
Banamine Injection
IA Hocks - TMT w/Hyvisc Depo/amikacin/hyvisc RH fusing. LH dry.
Qty Price
1 35.00 1 125.00
1 53.00
1 35.00 1 325.00
Disc Amount
Short behind. Lame RH 1/5. Dumps onforehand. HX of falling w/rider. She tested for EPM. Trail use. Flex 1/5 UHL (hock/stifle) both hind. Low ROM. Warms ukp out of and able to walk, trot, cantor both ways soft. (R) more difficult direction. Brief neuro WNL - weak tail pull (R) but circles/backs/proprioception/had raise. WNV. Pain caudal thoracic (R) > (L)., recommend cervical radiographs and or mylogram and equinox trial
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, it sounds like I need a new vet and hock xrays.
He was a starving orphan 8 week old with strangles that was rescued from a feedlot in 2011. I’ve had him about 1 1/2 years.
 

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Below are the notes from the Vet
Lameness Exam
Tranquilizer w/Dormo
10 mg dorm IV
Banamine Injection
IA Hocks - TMT w/Hyvisc Depo/amikacin/hyvisc RH fusing. LH dry.

Short behind. Lame RH 1/5. Dumps onforehand. HX of falling w/rider. She tested for EPM. Trail use. Flex 1/5 UHL (hock/stifle) both hind. Low ROM. Warms ukp out of and able to walk, trot, cantor both ways soft. (R) more difficult direction. Brief neuro WNL - weak tail pull (R) but circles/backs/proprioception/had raise. WNV. Pain caudal thoracic (R) > (L)., recommend cervical radiographs and or mylogram and equinox trial

So, it sounds like I need a new vet and hock xrays.
So with those notes, makes me wonder how much he flexed off on the stifle versus the hock. And it's not impossible to have TWO problems (or more).
If he also has trouble with the stifle, then the hock injections are NOT going to solve 100% of his problem.

It's possible he could be "dumping on the forehand" in order to get weight off his sore back end, which will make them more prone to tripping/stumbling.
And sounds like she thought he has something wrong with his back??? Which could also cause the tripping/stumbling.

Personally, I would not start your horse on Equioxx yet because I think you need to figure out what's going on.
If you put them on Equioxx, it just might mask anything else that is going on.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thought I posted that before. Yeah, I am going to wait on any further treatment for now and stick with diagnostics till I figure this out.
The vet thought he was sore from a poorly fitting saddle but it couldn’t be because i haven’t been riding him. Also his saddle is custom and I had it reflocked 6 months ago.

I did notice before I stopped riding him he was being nervous and kind of a jerk for tacking up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, one week after hock injections and although he seems to be happier, he is still lame. The woman I Board with thinks there is improvement but I don’t see it.
I am hand walking for now but did ask for the trot yesterday just long enough to see that he is lame.
 

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Thought I posted that before. Yeah, I am going to wait on any further treatment for now and stick with diagnostics till I figure this out.
The vet thought he was sore from a poorly fitting saddle but it couldn’t be because i haven’t been riding him. Also his saddle is custom and I had it reflocked 6 months ago.

I did notice before I stopped riding him he was being nervous and kind of a jerk for tacking up.
A poorly fitting saddle doesn't make the hocks sore.

A poorly fitting saddle could make him reluctant to be tacked up. Or he could have ulcers.

So, one week after hock injections and although he seems to be happier, he is still lame. The woman I Board with thinks there is improvement but I don’t see it.
I am hand walking for now but did ask for the trot yesterday just long enough to see that he is lame.
Usually, you should have some improvement at 1 week, although it might be early yet.

What are you seeing as "lame"? Head bob? Limping?
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi. Thanks for the reply. What I see is a slight head bob and off on the right front. He does get better with more movement or if I have him trot faster.
I checked his back today and it is sore behind the withers where a saddle would go but he hasn’t had a saddle on in over a month.

He did threaten to kick when I picked up the right rear to pick his feet. He used to struggle more on the left being picked up.

He has always moved kind of like a western pleasure horse, or at least what I, with no experience, would think one Would move like. I think they used to call it a daisy cutter or something.

He used to all four feet off the ground bronc buck sometimes, and he hasn’t done that in a long time and I doubt it’s due to my great training.

He isn’t tripping as much now. More like a normal horse would.only occasionally.
 

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Hi. Thanks for the reply. What I see is a slight head bob and off on the right front. He does get better with more movement or if I have him trot faster.
I checked his back today and it is sore behind the withers where a saddle would go but he hasn’t had a saddle on in over a month.

He did threaten to kick when I picked up the right rear to pick his feet. He used to struggle more on the left being picked up.

He has always moved kind of like a western pleasure horse, or at least what I, with no experience, would think one Would move like. I think they used to call it a daisy cutter or something.

He used to all four feet off the ground bronc buck sometimes, and he hasn’t done that in a long time and I doubt it’s due to my great training.

He isn’t tripping as much now. More like a normal horse would.only occasionally.
I hate to say it, but your horse sounds an awful lot like my guy with serious neck issues. He too got sore in the hocks and stifles but that was only a SECONDARY symptoms because he was moving funny in order to compensate for his neck, which made his back end sore. And would also flex off on his right front (I think that was the leg most affected by his spinal cord impingement and the left he most frequently tripped on).

I think your next step is a new vet (potentially) then xray his neck and back and find someone qualified to interpret it. The majority of vets are NOT qualified to read a neck xray (back isn't as bad). And if your vet isn't willing to admit what they are comfortable with and what they aren't, then that's another red flag to find a new vet.

I love my vet because she flat out told me she doesn't like reading neck xrays and doesn't do alot of them. And then she proceeded to find someone who COULD help us, and she did.

Either way, sounds like you've got some more digging to do unfortunately.

ANY TRIPPING is not normal. Horses should not trip. The only exception maybe is a 2 or 3 year old that just went through a big growth spurt. A 10 year old horse? No, not normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So........... I had my regular Veterinarian out. He was surprised at how sore Diesel is. The hock injections worked for the hocks. He has an old broken rib injury that I had noticed before but forgot to mention. He also has a luxated SI joint injury. You can actually feel and hear it pop in and out with manipulation.
I asked about bone scan and he said the whole horse will light up. For treatment he said it’s good I am patient. Walk trot in round pen in frame for 10 minutes as tolerated 3 times a week. He said he can be in his pen, which is large for SoCal. Maybe the size of 5 24x24 corals.
I asked about the neck and he said allot of horses have undiagnosed neck injuries but Diesels range of motion etc is good for his neck.
I asked about further diagnostics and he said to give the SI joint some time 8months to a year. He is going to recheck him in 4 months.

I am pretty much tapped out right now and for another month.
After about 3 weeks of the excersize suggested, I don’t see any improvement.
He had a major freak out 3 days ago when a couple of minis were brought to the ranch. He flew through the gate, got out and galloped all over the property. Hewas out of his mind with no regard for his safety or anyone else’s. He a horse. When back in his paddock he again tried to run the gate and was stopped so he jumped his 100gal water and tried to go under the fence. He was put in a barn stall for his safety and started kicking the walls. He did finally settle down. I can’t even think about how much of a set back that was.

I know this is a long post.
I am honestly considering euthanasia. Not because of the stupid freak out, but I feel this is just the tip of an iceberg.
I’m ok with not riding him for a year or two or longer. I am not ok with keeping him in pain.
He was an orphaned starved 8 week old with strangled severely ill near death when he was rescued. I have to wonder how bad an effect that had on him. The broken rib he had as a foal.

if you made it this far, you are a saint.
 
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