View Full Version : OCD in a yearlings hocks?

Jan. 18, 2010, 09:07 PM
I don't know a lot of the specifics of this situation, but will give you guys what background I have:

My friend got offered a free yearling. He is a (supposedly) well bred hunter-style QH, gorgeous to look at, great mover. We didn't free jump him because the barn he is at has no jumps. He is extremely skittish around people. Conformationally good, his feet may be a bit small but he is a looker for sure. He is being given away because his owner thinks he has some OCD in his hocks. I don't know what she based this on since she has no medical records or info. My friend (this is the friend that rescued the draftie- she's a huge sap :) ) is going to have a vet do a modified PPE on him before committing to anything. How much is OCD in a yearling's hocks a dealbreaker for you? This friend would want him to be able to do at least 3' hunters.

Jan. 18, 2010, 10:48 PM
I would assume the hocks have been x-rayed. That would be the only way to diagnose OCD. Your friend needs x-rays of those hocks and the vet's opinion on the prognosis. I think the hock is the joint with the best post surgical prognosis after OCD. I would, also, assume, the person is giving the horse away, because they don't want to do/can't afford the surgery. I would expect that surgery on both hocks would probably run in the $2000 range and that would not include the original x-rays, transportation, or post surgical care. I would expect a conservative estimate for total cost of this "free" yearling to be in the $3000-$4000 range depending on how far the horse needs to be transported for GOOD surgical care, the expense of the surgical hospital, and what fees your vet will charge for post surgical care.

Jan. 18, 2010, 11:31 PM
Thank you Luckeys- anyone else have experience with this? I need to know whether to tell her I don't think it is a good idea, or I know it's a really bad one.

Although I told her the latter once, and she still married him. :)

Jan. 19, 2010, 12:07 AM
It is ridiculous to base anything on yearling xrays. Horses change dramatically as they grow, so an OCD lesion there now might be gone in 6 months, and clean xrays now might show OCD in 6 months. If he is nice and she has the resources to care for him, then go for it. Ask on the breeders forum too, you'll get more answers.

Jan. 19, 2010, 12:52 AM
You mentioned the current owner "thinks" the horse has OCD in his hocks. Has this diagnoses been confirmed by radiographs?

OCD in the hocks usually has a good prognoses once surgically removed. If your friend likes the horse and can afford the surgery then there is a good chance your horse will be ok

Jan. 19, 2010, 01:10 AM
Sorry but from experience "FREE" or "CHEAP" is usually a bad word.

There is a reason.

I would find out the REAL reason and go from there.

It's hard to say anything really on the OCD issue because there are no xrays.

I hope it works out; the interested potential owner sounds nice.

Jan. 19, 2010, 07:24 AM
Get x-rays before trying to make any decisions. You need to know what you're working with before you try to evaluate the potential risks.

Jan. 19, 2010, 08:57 AM

Jan. 19, 2010, 10:29 AM
Thank you cajunbelle...

I would do a PPE on the yearling, but would NOT freak over the possible OCD issue. Yes, it MAY require surgery, but then again, it may not.

The thing I find so amusing/frustrating is that as diagnostics tools become more advanced, more issues are made of things that have always been there. OCD is by no means a new thing in horses, yet it is treated as the kiss of death by so many people. Do they really think that horses 50 years ago didn't have OCD? Wrong, we just didn't have the tools to diagnose it.

Jan. 19, 2010, 08:30 PM
Yes, it is certainly true that many OCD lesions may never be discovered, because they are stable and in locations where they do not cause problems. That would require x-rays and consultation with a good veterinary surgeon to determine, if it is even true that this youngster does have an OCD lesion.

Jan. 20, 2010, 09:50 AM
The horse is currently sound and a "lovely mover"? Is there any filling (swelling) in his hocks currently? If the hocks are tight and cool, and the horse appears sound, why does the current owner "think" the horse has any OCD probems at all if she has not xrayed them?

Since the yearling is skittish, it is unlikely that you can perform a hock flexion test adequately. Somebody needs to xray these hocks to know what they look like inside. If the feet are small, there may be some problems or potential problems there too. Or other problems elsewhere in the limbs, currently undetected, as in any yearling or older horse. All of a sudden, a full "prepurchase exam" looms in the future before a decision is made about taking the free horse (for as much advance guarantees that ever gives anyone). There are no guarantees that any horse is going to work out for anything, no matter if they are vetted or not. For a freebee, if she likes it and it is sound and shows no obvious problems to an experienced eye, you take it and see how it goes. Deal with any problems that crop up (if they do), or put it down if the problems can't be dealt with.

Jan. 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
usually if someone experienced *thinks* a yearling has OCD in a particular area without benefit of x-rays, it's because the youngster has presented with periodic on/off lameness or NQRness or the ever popular ADR (ain't doin' right) that makes one suspect this could be the underlying issue.

And while I wouldn't necessarily worry about OCD that isn't diagnosed (in fact I'd probably go out of my way to not dx them via x-rays so as not to rule out insurance coverage for any possible clean up work), but I'd worry a lot about a youngster that is already showing lameness even w/o the benefit of a firm dx..

This is purely speculation though, it may not apply and YMMV

Jan. 20, 2010, 04:33 PM
It is ridiculous to base anything on yearling xrays. Horses change dramatically as they grow, so an OCD lesion there now might be gone in 6 months, and clean xrays now might show OCD in 6 months. If he is nice and she has the resources to care for him, then go for it. Ask on the breeders forum too, you'll get more answers.

Exactly. It doesn't matter if an OCD lesion is found now, in a year the xrays could be perfect. People get crazy ideas about OCD and if they don't have a vet that's familar with babies maybe they were told it was OCD and not that the lesions could go away. I would go for it and check in 6 months.

Jan. 20, 2010, 04:53 PM
I bought a three year old with and OCD in each hock, we had the surgery done, and 4 years later he was 11th in the country in the Older Small Juniors. It has never been an issue since the surgery.

Jan. 20, 2010, 07:56 PM
I went through the same thing some time ago, only difference was that that the colt which had confirmed OCD was not a freebie...quite the contrary...
Here is the link to the whole story:


Although I tried to buy the colt anyways, my vet was less than enthusiastic about the whole idea.
One more data: a very well known stallion here has OCD in his knees (fortunately he does not pass it on to his get...). He has been sound forever, did Grand Prix succesfully, but this year turning 14, his knees started to swell very oddly (like he had golf balls under his skin...). This is the OCD working up. He never had an issue and was even on pasture rest due to another lesion, but now,all of a sudden, he started having issues... By all this I mean you are never on the safe side...he can be sound forever or from one day to another for no reason start going lame...I would consult with a vet and a surgeon and try to operate to be on the safe side...