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Clicking joints

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  • Clicking joints

    So last Thursday I heard my mare "clicking" when she walked and trotted. Sounded to me like her left knee. Being the good panicky horse mom I am, I arranged for her to be at the vet's clinic early Friday for a lameness exam.

    Vet did everything sort of xrays (he was emphatic that I would be wasting money) - flex test, walk-trot on hard surface, walk-trot-canter on deep surface, and ended up just giving her a shot of Legend. Told me she is perfectly fine, just needs a bit of joint support. Either Legend before anything stressful or maybe start on Adequan. Legend, I was told, should reach max effect around 2 days and last maybe 5. She was clicking again yesterday. 48 hours after the shot.

    I'm a bit worried as 1) the mare is only 7 and 2) has definitely not been over worked. (not started over fences until last year, and just now moving up to novice)

    I am going to start on the Adequan, but since I know that will take a couple of months to reach max effect, any ideas on what to do in the mean time? I can't afford a shot of Legend every 4 days. Any of the oral supplements worth trying while waiting on Adequan to work it's magic?
    Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
    BLUE STAR Arabians and
    Arabian-influenced Sportponies

  • #2
    Oftentimes clicking in the joint means nothing...I've had horses that click in the hocks and have been told that it is just a noise the tight ligament makes...


    • #3
      I remember a young man, after being examined by an orthopedic surgeon, being told, " We don't treat noises".

      The knee still works fine years later.
      Taking it day by day!


      • #4
        My horse is 12 and has clicked since she was 4. Vet said (after extensive check incl x-rays) just to get on and ride. I asked about additives and he said he wouldn't bother but I could waste my money if I liked. Her joints were excellent. Hers is fetlock though. Why don't you just give a joint supplement and keep and eye on things?


        • Original Poster

          I watched her work this afternoon (flat work only). She clicked every stride, but is not lame at all, her work showed the same level of fitness and finesse it always does. She had a good workout, her walk-canter transitions finally "clicked" (hahaha) and where very "up" and smooth and unrushed. Her rider is really working on her own core strength, and today it was just an all around very good day. Except for the clicking in the left knee.

          I could just go with the oral supplements - but which? - but then I would feel guilty every time she "clicks". I already feel like a bad mommy for not having her on Adequan already. Apparently she's the only jumper/eventer among my acquaintances who ISN'T on Adequan already. Even worse, she wasn't already on a joint supplement.
          Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
          BLUE STAR Arabians and
          Arabian-influenced Sportponies


          • #6
            Mine clicks in his fetlocks when I run out of MSM.


            • #7
              One of mine did that too...

              I raised her and she was only under saddle maybe 6-8 months when she started "clicking" as a 3 y/o. She was never lame. She is 7 or 8 this spring and has clicked ever since she was started U/S as a 3 y/o, UNTIL last fall when I started her on Immunal and NOCD. After about 2-3 weeks on both of them she stopped clicking. Now she get a dose of both in the AM with her grain and that is it.....no clicking. I would try it...talk with Edgar.


              • #8
                My guy is six and I will hear his hocks click once in a while.
                Since I've had other horses do the same thing, I don't worry about it.


                • #9
                  Try a course of Adequan for 28 days and see if that helps if it bothers you. Otherwise just ignore it...I find it comes and goes with most horses.


                  • #10
                    I had a filly I bred click like a flaminco dancer when she was 2-3 yrs. old! Seriously -- you could hear it from 20 ft away! She was sound, always.

                    Called the experts at Washington State University and chatted at length with one of their ortho guys. Bottom line: he has NEVER been able to equate noise with any unsoundness. He said there are lots of theories as to why horses "click", but since it never seems to cause a problem, nobody has really investigated it.

                    BTW, the filly grew out of this...she's 6 now and has stopped clicking


                    • #11
                      I agree with the above poster. I recently did a prepurchase exam on a horse that clicked. I used a vet that specialized in lameness as this clicking was definitely of concern for me as well. He said in his experience up to 50% of horses have some sort of clicking and it is not an indication of any present or future lameness. Again lots of theories - bubbles in or excess synovial fluid, tendons making a snapping noise etc...


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paintjumper View Post
                        ...UNTIL last fall when I started her on Immunal and NOCD. After about 2-3 weeks on both of them she stopped clicking.
                        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                        • #13
                          My daughter's gelding's rear fetlocks click. We've never figured out why or found anything that makes it stop. It doesn't seem to be related to anything.
                          "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp


                          • #14
                            I had an OTTB that started clicking. Put him on Fluid Action HA from Finish Line and it stopped. Took him off, clicking started. Put him back on it, clicking disappeared.


                            • #15
                              My own joints click. The clicks don't hurt. Some of the other joints hurt. But not the clickers.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by x View Post
                                Oftentimes clicking in the joint means nothing...I've had horses that click in the hocks and have been told that it is just a noise the tight ligament makes...
                                I was told basically the same thing. I thought it was the joint, but the vet said,"Crack your knuckle." I did. He said,"Crack it again." It wouldn't crack. He informed me joints can't keep cracking & it's either a release of gas or a tendon/ligament thing.


                                • #17
                                  My mare clicked and cracked horribly at 3, and it reappeared during growth spurts. She's rising 6 now and I rarely hear it... it seemed to go away with strength and flexibility.

                                  Now if I could only get my knees to stop clicking and cracking....
                                  "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BansheeBreeze View Post
                                    I had an OTTB that started clicking. Put him on Fluid Action HA from Finish Line and it stopped. Took him off, clicking started. Put him back on it, clicking disappeared.
                                    Did you ever try a supplement without the HA? Just wondering if it's the MSM that's doing it and not the HA
                                    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                                    • #19
                                      My mare's joints clicked at every stride. Made me crazy so, I put her on Conquer gel and Viola....clicking gone.


                                      • #20
                                        My old guy clicked a lot until he warmed up. I added MSM to his diet--no clicking. Like everyone else, I think it's no big deal, but MSM is a good, cheap way to deal with it.