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How long after hock injections...

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  • How long after hock injections...

    Can I expect to see a difference? My mare had her hocks injected after having them evaluated and x-rayed by my vet. She had some fusion going on in the lower joints. Tomorrow will be one full week from the date of injection. I put her on the lunge line briefly yesterday just to see how she looked and she was still slightly off.

    I've read other threads on hock injections where people were riding and sometimes competing in as little as three or four days after injections. I'm worried that my mare is still lame after almost a week. Can anyone give me your experiences where it takes longer? Or should I be calling my vet back out to see if there is another issue with her? Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Did your vet do from the bottom up blocks of the leg? It would not be the first time that the main problem was elsewhere.
    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.


    • #3
      I think you'll find that the people competing that soon after hock njections are using them as a "tune-up" rather than to solve a visible lameness.

      If the horse was actually lame before the injection, then I would expect it to take at least a week to really work (the injections themselves can make some horses quite sore,) and then a steady improvement over the course of the next couple of weeks. I'd take it easy on the lunging and circle work in the mean time. You really want to give that stuff a chance to kill the inflammation.

      If you aren't seeing a measureable improvement by the middle of next week, I'd talk to the vet and see what he thinks.


      • Original Poster

        The vet did Flexions to determine where the soreness was and then x-rayed when he thought he had found where the pain was. I will give her all the time she needs to recover. Her lameness prior to injections was very minor and it still is. But after reading that others had more immediate results, I was a little concerned. But it makes sense that since this is not a maintenance injection but her first time that it may take longer. Thank you.


        • #5
          It depends on what steroid was used. Some only take a few days to see full results. Others can take up to a couple weeks.


          • Original Poster

            Darn it, Simkie. I don't know what exactly my vet used on her. I can find out.


            • #7
              I've never done injections on a lame horse, just horses that were stiff. 3 days after injections I start riding again. For my current horse, it usually takes 2 weeks to notice a difference


              • Original Poster

                Thank you all for your replies. I know I probably need to just be patient. I'm a bit stressed over it because this is my special heart horse and I don't want there to be anything wrong with her.


                • #9
                  My mare was injected on Feb 7th, my vet said she should be off 5-7 days, I went with 7. She was on regular turnout for that time.
                  On the 7th day I lunged a little to see how she looked, was still a bit off, but way better than before the treatment. The next day I rode a little and she was better still. She still starts stiff and needs a long warm up.
                  Last week though, she was a bit off on sat and then really off mon and tue, but the last couple days has been much better.
                  I also started her on pentosan at the beginning of march.

                  Give it a few days and keep her moving.
                  I find if I get her out every day, even if just for some hand walking, she is much better when it comes to riding.


                  • #10
                    I'm sure your vet told you things to keep an eye out for, but just out of paranoia - if your mare starts getting lameR, call your vet right away.

                    Hopefully she just needs a few more days, but I would mentally prepare yourself that she may need something different treated, very often when hocks are sore, injection results seem like magic.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks Pookah. I will watch her very closely. What kinds of things would you worry about? An infection? Or something else?


                      • #12
                        Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought OP said the mare had some fusion going on in the "lower joints". 1. did she mean lower down in the leg? Or one of the lower parts of the hock?
                        2. It is my understanding that joints that are fusing are painful while that process goes on - and that injecting will slow down the fusing process. But will it alleviate the discomfort also?
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                        • #13
                          Yes, infection in the joint, joint flares, and laminitis are all RARE but possible complications of joint injections. I wouldn't be worried about any of those if your mare was slightly lame before the injection and is slightly lame now - but if she is getting worse or is severely lame, or is running a fever, I would not hesitate to call your vet in case it is something more serious. (But again, those are really really rare, and you don't need to panic over them, I just wanted to mention it in case your vet hadn't).


                          • Original Poster

                            2tempe, yes it's her lower hock joints that are trying to fuse. Whatever my used (and I'm sorry I don't recall what that was) he said alleviates the pain of the fusion process and also helps to speed the process up. Please correct me anyone if I don't have that quite right.


                            • #15
                              Up to three full weeks to see maximum benefit. If after three weeks horse is still pretty off I would think the problem may lie elsewhere.


                              • #16
                                And something else to bear in mind If they've been sore in their hocks for a while and have been compensating for it by moving somewhat differently, they can make the stifles, and sometimes even the SI, quite sore also--and it won't be obvious until you treat the hocks, so you may end up having to treat that whole cascade effect to get things back to normal.

                                It was probably a mix of cortisone, to help fuse the joint and as a painkiller, and HA to lube things up, and an antibiotic to help prevent any joint infection.

                                I wish I didn't know anything about this stuff!!!


                                • Original Poster

                                  You have all been so helpful. Thank you so much. I sure hope she won't show signs of other problems. She had not been very sore for very long. And she is not very old. She is 6 and she has had very little work thus far. She was started late and I've taken it very easy on her. It's upsetting that she would be having these issues this early on.


                                  • #18
                                    we did our mare's hocks in early January, just for stiffness, performance issues, no real lameness. I will say I was told 10-14 days was when you'd see optimum improvement and she was noticably better after that point. Give it some more time.


                                    • #19
                                      I had this issue (injections not working) and my horse actually had a LH suspensory injury.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by About Time View Post
                                        You have all been so helpful. Thank you so much. I sure hope she won't show signs of other problems. She had not been very sore for very long. And she is not very old. She is 6 and she has had very little work thus far. She was started late and I've taken it very easy on her. It's upsetting that she would be having these issues this early on.
                                        I understand how you feel. My mare is coming 5, her arthritis is in the upper hock joints though and the prognosis isn't as positive.
                                        Good luck with your mare!