My vet just called on some xrays he took last week. My mare has arthritis in her left hock and he thinks we should start injections ASAP.
This is not a show horse. I ride her occasionally, but if she can never be ridden again, it won't change anything. I just want her to be comfortable in the pasture.
Would you suggest to go ahead with the injections? Would you try something else first? I've been hearing about adequan and Legend but know nothing about either. Would you mind giving me your opinions?
Sorry, I did a quick search but not much came up. If this has been done before, I apologize - gotta run out the door to muck out 20 stalls, hope to have some great food for thought by the time I come back! TIA.
My horse gets injections for arthritic hocks every 6 to 9 months. They make a huge difference. He has pretty bad arthritis in both hocks, and he's older. He is very rideable and sound with the injections, a good joint supplement and good management. I would absolutely recommend the injections.
BTW, I asked my vet about other options such as Adequan and Legend. He felt the injections were the best route based on my horse, age, riding plans, etc.
If your horse has the standard OA in the lower hock joint, I'd certainly inject those first. It is a more direct and therefore cheaper way of addressing the problem than systemic things like Adequan, Legend or oral joint supplements.
If this is your only problem, the odds of your getting a really useful, comfortable horse back are good. But the trick to making hock injections worthwhile is keeping the horse in work and using herself correctly. The stronger they are behind, the sounder they tend to get, IME.
Injections could certainly make her more comfortable. I didn't go that route for my mare when her arthritis popped up, as she was retired and in her 20's. Instead, we did glucosamine injections (cheaper than adequan and legend) and if she had a bad day, or we knew it was going to rain, snow, etc. we'd give her a gram of bute.
We then moved her on to a gram of bute a day while her hocks were fusing, but now that they are fused, she is again sound without it.
I didn't go with the injections because she's older, was in the process of fusing, and wasn't lame, just a bit stiff in the morning.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.
To add to what mvp said: my mare developed significant hock arthritis by the time she was about 14. We tried Legend and Adequan, but I never felt like I got much benefit from them - because the problem was so centered on her hocks. I did end up injecting, and that helped her stay comfortable for a while longer. Ultimately she had to be retired (she was an event horse and show jumper).
OTOH, my gelding does quite well with occasional Adequan and Legend. He is 17 and occasionally gets a little bit sore when he is coming back into serious work after some time off. In his case, he doesn't have a specific "problem area" like my mare did.
You can certainly try Adequan and Legend - it won't hurt anything except your wallet - and if you don't get a good response, you may have to go to injections.
Also agree about keeping horse in regular, consistent work, lots of variation (sometimes walk/trot hacks, sometimes flatwork, sometimes groundwork-lungeing) On days I can't ride due to weather or footing, or schedule, I just take him on a hand-walk.
I had a customer with a horse diagonsed this weekend with hock arthritis.
The horse tested positive for a Churchill test, shows a little wear on the left hind toe. He did show positive on a flexion test when asked to move off but then recovered quickly. Under saddle he was landing a bit flat-footed behind at the trot.
The vet wants to put him on ECP treatment, Adequan and Legend injections.
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. Bernard M. Baruch
Make sure you talk to your vet about what they are being injected with. Its usually some mix of corticosteroids and HA, although adequan can be given IA as well. The mix will depend to a large degree on whether the hocks are close to fusing. More steroid will make them more comfortable, but may slow down the fusing process.