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Hock injection frustrations...long

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  • Hock injection frustrations...long

    My 11 year old WB had his hocks injected 2 years ago and was going great until this April. We injected again and now we are only 4 months into these injections- and he's got hock or stifle pain again.

    He's on 24/7 pasture, gets monthly adequan and SmartFlex Sr Herb-Free. We are showing 3rd level-- well, were showing 3rd level. We were schooling 4th and learning piaffe/passage and he was doing really well up until last week. He'd had two weeks off prior due to freakish amounts of rain making it impossible for me to ride.

    I gave him Equioxx for 2 days and rode him this morning. I didn't work him, just got on to see if there was a difference. He was MUCH less stiff, stepping under and not resistant.

    My current vet thinks he's already at the end of hock injections being useful to him. I'm making an appointment with a specialist - Dr. Murray in Birmingham - next week for a second opinion / options.

    Has anyone had experience with hock injections only working twice? How about "cold" laser therapy? Really frustrated as I bred/raised this boy and feel blessed that we've gotten this far and now the wall...

  • #2
    I would try a course of pentosan before panicking. I have seen that stuff work miracles.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

    Comment


    • #3
      I might not worry too much - 2yrs is a while between injections - if they really need injecting again I wouldn't panic this time around.

      Also, time off is not good for an arthritic horse, and 4th level is a lot to ask...you still have a lot you can do - legend, pentosan, adequan, a solid course of Equioxx. Might need to inject the stifles at this point, too. But, I'd slowly get him back into work after a couple weeks off. A few days of hacking before you get back to intense schoolings (sounds like you are on top of this). Was his t/o decreased due to the rain? Decreased t/o & time off are bad things for a horse with arthritis.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have they looked elsewhere? Have they checked tendons?
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #5
          When my aged jumper starting needing his hocks done every four months when started giving him Tildren. It without a doubt saved him from retirement. Pentosan goes without saying of course.
          Originally posted by EquineImagined
          My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Laurierace - where do you get Pentosan?

            Goodmorning - he is 4 months into this set of injections. I think I am a dressage-anamoly as far as turn-out goes. He lives out 24/7 unless we get ice. He's out in the rain, the sun, the heat, and on odd occassions of snow. I clip and blanket up in the winter. But he has access to the barn aisle so he can get out of the heat and bugs (or other weather) and stand under the fans.

            Marrygoround - the local vet school sports medicine vet did his injections, not my regular vet. I figured they 1) did more work-ups, 2) had a better chance at good scrubbing/cleanliness than on-farm injections 3) digital x-ray machine and 4) lots of injection experience.

            When I brought him to the vet school in April 2012 they did not re-do the 2010 films but did due a basic evaluation. No issues found other than the hocks.

            I do not see / feel any heat, swelling, soreness in any of his tendons, but I'm sure the specialist will take a look at that.

            A friend suggested doing tick-borne illness bloodwork as two of her horses became stiff and seemed to have hock/stifle problems. The horses were positive and treated and have since returned to normal. It's a $40 test so, seems cheap to rule out.

            Comment


            • #7
              What did the 2010 radiographs show? Did they explain why they didn't x-ray 4 months ago? That's probably the next thing I'd do. Why throw any more money at him in the way of treatment until you're sure what you're dealing with? Even if they saw arthritic changes in 2010, that's no guarantee that's what is bugging him now or that it hasn't advanced to the point of being a much bigger problem.
              "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
              http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JackieBlue View Post
                What did the 2010 radiographs show? Did they explain why they didn't x-ray 4 months ago? That's probably the next thing I'd do. Why throw any more money at him in the way of treatment until you're sure what you're dealing with? Even if they saw arthritic changes in 2010, that's no guarantee that's what is bugging him now or that it hasn't advanced to the point of being a much bigger problem.
                2010 films showed arthritic changes. The vet at the vet school did not think it was necessary to re-x ray in April 2012 before reinjecting.

                This is why I am going to a specialist (not the vet school) - to make sure I am still looking at the same issues. I want a 2nd opinion from someone who specializes in lameness.

                While the local vet school is good for somethings, they see very few warmbloods. My gelding is like a rock star when he goes there- all the students come and see what a WB looks like and how he moves... which he thinks is pretty cool b/c he loves the attention and is bit of a ham

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                • #9
                  Hocks will radiograph clean with tendon problems, the only way to accurately diagnose tendon problems is with ultrasound. They can look good, not have any overt swelling and still be a chronic problem.
                  Taking it day by day!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I get my pentosan from Abba Vet Supply but if your vet will write a script you can get it cheaper from Wedgewood. I should note that my guy had numerous back and hock injections over the course of five years before they finally gave up and donated him to a rescue. I adopted him over 8 years ago and fixed his feet and he has been find ever since. Start at the bottom.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                      I get my pentosan from Abba Vet Supply but if your vet will write a script you can get it cheaper from Wedgewood. I should note that my guy had numerous back and hock injections over the course of five years before they finally gave up and donated him to a rescue. I adopted him over 8 years ago and fixed his feet and he has been find ever since. Start at the bottom.
                      Sophie's fetlock injection lasted two months. She is sound on 6 ml, Pentosan every 3 weeks
                      I wasn't always a Smurf
                      Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                        I get my pentosan from Abba Vet Supply but if your vet will write a script you can get it cheaper from Wedgewood. .

                        Did you need a script to get it from Abba Vet? It says Rx online. Just curious, PM if you wish.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He was my vet for many years so I can get pretty much anything I want. I think for people he hasn't worked for you do need a script.
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            At the levels you are riding, I would absolutely re-xray. Arthrtis can change the hock joints very quickly. He could have a chip, spur, narrowing, bone loss - any number of things. Just like people, arthritis goes in varying degrees and progresses sometimes fast, sometimes slow. Circles, lateral work, etc all put more pressure on the hocks. Not to scare you but arthritis can progress rapidly. There may be other, better treatments (like Tildren, etc) depending on how your horse's hocks look NOW vs. 2010. Until you re-xray I think you could be wasting money on what may, or may not work. I'm sure there is a valid treatment that will help your horse, but you need to know what you are dealing with first, and deal with facts. Then the vets can recommend from there. Good luck!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by tpup View Post
                              ...Arthrtis can change the hock joints very quickly. .....how your horse's hocks look NOW vs. 2010. Until you re-xray I think you could be wasting money on what may, or may not work. I'm sure there is a valid treatment that will help your horse, but you need to know what you are dealing with first, and deal with facts. Then the vets can recommend from there. Good luck!
                              I agree- usually I'm not a high-panic horse person but he's my baby and I got a little over wound! Today a calmer mind has appeared.

                              I have an appointment on Thursday AM - I'm sure we will do films again so it will be interesting to compare them. I'll research Tildren in the meanwhile.

                              Thanks!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Pentosan has helped my horse tremendously...I would really encourage you to give it a try.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Any updates? Curious what you found and what your vet recommended?

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I have to say I loved Dr. Murray at Coosa Equine in Alabama!

                                    His unsoundness is very discreet not a glaring "I'm limping!" so Boomer passed flexions, lounging. Next was a sensor on his leg, head and hips - passed. But has a tendency to momentary patellar fixation.

                                    Dr. Murray spent a lot of time going over our 2010 films and our new films. RH had little change; some remodeling at the front of the hock joint but good spaces everywhere else. LH had more remodeling at the front of the joint but good spaces in the rest of the joint. So we spent a lot of time going over treatment paths (long-term plans, short-term and worst case). We did not re-inject the joint - doc said he had too much good cartiliage that we would destroy by over-injecting.

                                    So we are doing 30 days previcox, 10 days light work and some hill work, then increasing work back to regular work. Also 1 Adequan once a week for 4 weeks, then down to 2/month, then 1 month. Hoping after 30 days to experiment with the previcox dosage to find a minimal amount he's comfy on. Also making some shoeing changes that my farrier is on board with.

                                    Our outlook is positive! I hope I can keep him going a while since he's the best horses I've owned!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wow, that is an off label regimen for Adequan. Never heard that before. Hope it works for you.
                                      McDowell Racing Stables

                                      Home Away From Home

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If you have to do it more than twice, listen to what he's telling you--he won't stand that level of work.

                                        We need to remind ourselves that dressage and jumping the way we practice them are not what horses' bodies were intended to do--especially for years on end. Yes, when mating or displaying a horse may passage or piaffe for a few strides, but that's over in a matter of a few seconds; nor do they take any kind of circular figure for more than a minute or two. Jumping is natural if it's out of stride over a log or a ditch on the ground; not with a substantial upward effort over and over again. We are inducing repetitive-motion injuries here, made worse by the fact that most horses are almost never ridden outside a ring anymore in the "show" barns.

                                        We have one very sad case here who will be put down next week. His hocks were done 5 times. If you could see the muscle wastage (looks like an EPM horse and he isn't), the incredible pain with which he tries to swing the worst leg forward, and the almost completely fused knee he developed in front from trying to compensate for his hocks, you would run as far as you possibly could from this procedure.

                                        I blame the vets. Years ago, before this "quick-'n-dirty" and oh-so-satisfying (dramatic for owner, lucrative for vets) procedure became the norm for "routine maintenance," horses got proper warm-ups, better cool-downs, a lot more walking and a lot more hacking out. It's one thing to have to give a little Bute to a 20-year old; it's another entirely to be injecting them at 6 and 8 and 10 as though this was "normal."
                                        It isn't. And if you do that, they'll be retired at 15--in pain.

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