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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2003
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Question Tell me about OCD success or horror stories...

    I'll give you a little brief before I go on:
    I found an amazing 2 yo stallion colt by Cardento from a breeder friend. It was love at first sight. He has huge bone and stands 1.66 (over 16h) at the age of 2!!! He is huge but light,very smart and has floating gaits. I decided to buy him and gave a downpayment to my friend (to stop other offers) and went along with the PPE.
    First they found he had a tiny injury in his check ligament (front right) which needed two months stall rest. We decided to postpone any more tests till he recovered from that. Three mo later we were back on the PPE and he scanned clean and ready to go, but when we went ahead with the xrays, he showed OCD in both hocks (more on left than right). He is not lame nor is there any inflamation. Also, the colt has gone through no training whatsoever (by this I mean jumping shute exercises), so it is not due to overexertion. I would guess it is from a big growth spurt due to his size...
    My vet said that he might never show symptoms or you can operate with much success and it can even come out so clean that it will not show in a future PPE, but even so, I have heard that buying a horse with OCD is a nightmare. If you operate and he comes out as good as new, why is it such a big deal? Are the odds bigger than they are telling me? Also I would like to have him as a breeding stallion, but it is said he can give his future colts OCD due to his size genes...
    What would you do? Should I go along with the buy, asking for a considerable discount due to new circumstances? I haven't seen him jumping yet, so now I would like to consider that first and then get into the dealing...but if he turns out to be a rockstar over jumps, should I risk it? Which were your experiences with OCD in youngsters and/or performance horses?

    Thanks for the opinions,
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2007


    I know several horses who have had OCD surgery. The one I am going to tell you about is a mare who was diagnosed with OCD very young--before she was started and about the same age as the stallion you are talking about (2). Her owner had the surgery, followed the rehab instructions, and started the mare at 4. This is a large warmblood, right around 16.1-16.2 hands. She had bilateral OCD surgery on both hocks. Her hocks are never dry, always a bit squishy to the touch and very often they blow up. Mare has, in my opinion, never been completely sound. It is not a risk I would be willing to take on a youngster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2004
    Houston, Tx


    I had the surgery (one hock) done on a gelding at the age of 3. He is now 8 doing GP jumpers.... hasn't ever taken a lame step. I also have a gelding still doing GP dressage at the age of 15 who failed his PPE at the age of 4 because of chips in his hocks. Didn't do surgery, I bought him anyway - it hasn't slowed him down at all. Both these guys are over 17 hands.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2007


    Yup, seems like for every "bad" story, there is a "good" one. Just depends how much of a risk you are willing to take and what you plan on doing with the horse. The above mentioned mare was destined to go eventing. Now she goes on walk trail rides...Luckily for her, her owner will never sell her (she wouldn't vet at this point anyway).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2009


    had 2 yr old colt, did surgery, he is great. I watch what I feed, as protein etc can contribute, as well as genes. he is great. I have noticed that his sire and many half siblings on the farm i bought him from have ocd, is it genes? or their feeding program? I dont know, my vet says probably both. I was told that he will be prone to arthritis, to be vigilant. He is 5 now, and showing successfully, sound, and gets worked 5-6 days a wk, min, sometimes 2x a day if he needs it.
    Last edited by LabsChewShoes; Oct. 5, 2009 at 12:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2004
    Saratoga Springs, NY


    A client of mine basically rescued a then 4 year old breeding stock paint out of someones back yard. About 16h, underweight, and was greenbroke. Had xrays done post purchase of 1 hock that had an ugly but healing wire cut across the front. Showed ocd, but he was ok on it. I rode him lightly 2x a week, turned up off on the other side. Ocd there as well. He had his surgery last dec and is doing well. Drags 1 toe a bit, but that's the leg that had the wire cut, so we attribute it more to the damage and scar tissue from whatever accident he had. All in all, we're happy with where he's at, as far as the ocd is concerned.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2009
    Pacific NW


    Depends on where it is. If it is the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia then the prognosis is good. But if it is the lateral trochlear ridge, then the prognosis is slightly less favorable. Also if there are already degenerative changes present, then the prognosis is not so good. In one study 76% of horses (183 total) that underwent sugery were able to perform at their intended use.
    Turn off the computer and go ride!

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