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Bone spur in the hock

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  • Bone spur in the hock

    I had a horse veted today and everything went great except for a
    +2 flexion in the left hock and radiographs to show she has a small bone spur. No spurs anywhere else, right hock looks great... vet said IF this ever causes her problems it can be treated with joint medication or hock injections... Im hoping to use this horse as a
    3ft+ hunter what would be your thoughts on this if you were vetting a horse?
    I dont personally mind injections but what about resale? Would this send someone running?
    He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots

  • #2
    Hocks don't worry as much as some other joints, as they can often be maintained. But you don't say where the spurs were (lower joint vs. upper joint), nor how old this horse is and what it has been doing. Just with the info you give, I don't see a big red flag (and I'm pretty risk adverse). Has the horse been injected in the past? Does the vet feel it needs to be injected now? Any old x-rays available to review for changes?

    I have a horse for sale that has some small spurs in the lower hock joint -- in my discussion with the vet, it isn't a big deal and she sees it quite a bit (does a lot of PPEs). While it might bother someone down the road, one thing in your favor would be having these old x-rays -- if two years down the road, the horse has been in work and doing fine, and new films show the same spurring, it really isn't much to worry about. Or so I understood from my conversation with this vet, but that was as a seller.


    • Original Poster

      Shes 6... has never had injections and hasnt been in much work for the past 2 years, however she was at the track as a 2 and 3 yr old... never "raced" but was at the track and in training which is where the vet said this probably happend

      She hasnt had any problems starting training he said when she starts harder work she MAY have problems may not but if she does injections would be the answer or adequan/legend. He said it wouldnt be career ending just depends if whoever vets her in the future is ok with the maintance IF she needs it... which I personally dont see a problem with...
      I think it was in the lower? not 100% sure though. Im having another vet look at them and hoping it all works out in my favor!
      He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots


      • #4
        Well, virtually no horses will vet 100% clean. If I had to pick a joint to have a small issue with, it would be the hock. Much better maintenance-wise then the knees, stifle, or SI... or heaven forbid feet issues! If the horse is really perfect I might be willing to take the risk personally.


        • #5
          I have a horse with a bone spur in the hock. He showed for many years without a problem. When he hit his teens, I started with hock injections and he was fine.
          Unfortunately, I had to retire him due to something totally unrelated to his hocks.


          • #6
            Ask the vet if the bone spur is where the Cunean Tendon crosses over the inside front of the hock joint. If it is, read this thread. Read page 2 first.

            Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


            • #7
              My OTTB mare had a big bone spur on her right hock when I vetted her at age 8. I had her on trial and liked her SO much that I took a chance on this potential issue. I do eventing so when I talked to my vet about it, he did say that when he does a PPE for a pure dressage horse, he is more concerned about the hocks, for a jumping horse, he is more concerned about the "landing gear" (aka, the front legs). Luckily, her fronts looked fantastic on the flexions and x-rays.

              Now she is 17 (and I still adore her) and semi-retired, but still in work. Through the years of eventing, I have had to do some maintenance with regard to her hocks. You and your vet can usually figure out a program to manage it. It didn't come up as an issue until she was about 11. Hock injections 1 x per year plus Adequan (monthly after the loading dose) seems to be our program. Tried Legend and that didn't seem to have any effect. This year, I did hock injections in the fall too because I could tell it was time--she wasn't lame, but "hitchy' in the right hind and not warming out of it. After her hocks were done in December, she is feeling fabulous again.

              That has been my experience, I would talk further with your vet more about the potential problems down the road depending on the location of the spur. But as others have said, there are more ways to manage hock problems than some other issues. It's all a crapshoot really! You can buy a youngster that vets out almost perfectly who has a career ending injury in the pasture 2 days after purchase. The only way to have a guarantee is to not buy a horse!!