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What Things Make You Think "Hock Problems"

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  • What Things Make You Think "Hock Problems"

    What kind of symptoms, both under tack and in hand, make you think to yourself "Oooh, I bet that's a hock problem?" Also, what's the youngest age you'd do hock injections?
    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

  • #2
    In Bonnie's case, it was a general shortening of stride, reluctance to be very straight (pushing the haunches to the inside) and "mincing" behind. I'd do them at whatever age the vet and I agreed they needed doing. In her case, age 9. My old mare Gwen got hers done for the first time at 18.
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    • #3
      I am dealing with a hock issue in my gelding. He is seven and we have gone ahead and injected. Xrays show narrowing in the bottom two joint spaces. Injecting with Depo will help him feel better and get rid of the cartilege allowing the area to fuse which will make him feel better long term.

      His issue was unique to me as his hocks are very tight, he flexes ok on them, and moved more like a stifle issue....so it took a while to narrow the issue down to his hocks (we did it by freezing from the hock down, and then three days later from below the hock down). His symptoms included being unwilling to do proper downward transitions (ridden and on the lunge) and dragging his outside hind on the lunge. he did not look lame when ridden as he was equally sore on both hinds.

      Other symptoms I would normally look for are: bogey hocks (puffy/swollen), positive flexion test, twisting of the hind hooves/hocks when walking in a straight line, bringing his hinds under him (towards his midline) rather than following the track of his front feet.

      I am not sure when the earliest I would inject is.
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      • #4
        I'm by no means an expert, but if my horse was exhibiting the following symptoms I might be thinking he/she was a bit sore in the hocks:

        Sore back behind the saddle, standing with the hocks tucked under the body, snapping the hocks up while working, being unwilling to stand well for the farrier while being shoed/trimmed behind, swapping a lot behind.

        There are other things that can cause these issues, but in general one of the first thing that would come to my mind would be hocks.

        I injected my gelding's hocks in Dec. and it was amazing. Riding him now vs. then is like sitting on a spring or a wooden board. He's coming back from a soft tissue injury right now, but at the trot today he was tracking up more than I'd seen him track up ever before. He is 13 this April.

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        • #5
          My horse would show it when on the crossties, standing with hindlegs 'crossed' under, often a clear indication of hockpain.
          Coldbacked & a struggle for the farrier as Henoven just listed.
          He's 16 now, and haven't had to inject the hocks just yet, managed to keep it under tabs with oral supps, liniments & BoT.

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          • #6
            Been dealing with this myself lately. We're about 95% sure at this point that it's a hock problem - chiro will be here in a couple of weeks to rule out anything more. My horse is 21 this year. I first started noticing a general unwillingness to move forward off my leg. Then I started noticing that he was getting very girthy and just generally crabby which was not normal for him. Finally he started swapping leads in the back end when going to the right. This horse hates swapping leads outside of a jump course so this was a huge red flag for me! Unfortunately for my horse, I'm apparently dense and it took me a while to put the pieces together to figure out what was up.
            "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

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            • #7
              This is what I notice with my mare:
              -Shorter steps behind when going up a gait or down a gait.
              -Backing crookedly (often towards the direction of the worst hock)
              -Reluctance to turn on the haunches with that as the "pillar" leg
              -General attitude change about work (nappy, less cooperative)

              I had her injected when the x-rays first indicated it was necessary. I've continued them as needed (when I notice the symptoms and she flexes off to the vet), but I have gotten new xrays at least once a year.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Hevonen View Post
                I'm by no means an expert, but if my horse was exhibiting the following symptoms I might be thinking he/she was a bit sore in the hocks:

                Sore back behind the saddle, .

                When a horse is sore behind the saddle it generally is related to the hocks.

                My horse was sore behind the saddle. He was not tracking to the right, was a bitch for the farrier to do his feet. 14years old and was injected 5 months ago. He is a brand new horse now!

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                • #9
                  Initial sign was less willingness to step under and then ultimately sore behind the saddle.

                  Flexes positive.

                  Other signs would be lead change issues (particularly if one leg is more sore). Resistance under saddle, etc. Basically what everyone else said.
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                  • #10
                    Time to repost a link to this COTH reference thread for those who have not read it. Read page 2 first. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=29839

                    What I know from my own horses, is that when they start having any ot the following: joint space narrowing, tightness of gait behind, back soreness, not tracking up, or the start of bone spurs at the lower inside hock joint, at younger than 8 or so years, a tight cunean tendon is possibly agravating or causing these issues. Of all these, narrowing of joint space is the most telling. Straight hind leg conformation contributes to a tight CT tendon, especially when the horse really has not done enough hard work to justify what the radiographs show. Hock issues caused by tight or stuck-to-joint-surface CT tendons shows up in younger horses, where older horses may just have wear and tear and need injections.

                    My 3 current horses all are going on 5 - 8 yers post CT surgery now, all had some radidographic changes or hock soreness before surgery, none have any issues today and I feed no joint supplements or anything else.

                    I believe that if you can identify this specific problem in a younger horse, you can prevent having to inject their hocks for the bulk of their life that lies ahead.
                    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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                    • #11
                      Stopping, refusing jumps on an otherwise saintly horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Plumcreek View Post
                        Time to repost a link to this COTH reference thread for those who have not read it. Read page 2 first. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=29839

                        What I know from my own horses, is that when they start having any ot the following: joint space narrowing, tightness of gait behind, back soreness, not tracking up, or the start of bone spurs at the lower inside hock joint, at younger than 8 or so years, a tight cunean tendon is possibly agravating or causing these issues. Of all these, narrowing of joint space is the most telling. Straight hind leg conformation contributes to a tight CT tendon, especially when the horse really has not done enough hard work to justify what the radiographs show. Hock issues caused by tight or stuck-to-joint-surface CT tendons shows up in younger horses, where older horses may just have wear and tear and need injections.

                        My 3 current horses all are going on 5 - 8 yers post CT surgery now, all had some radidographic changes or hock soreness before surgery, none have any issues today and I feed no joint supplements or anything else.

                        I believe that if you can identify this specific problem in a younger horse, you can prevent having to inject their hocks for the bulk of their life that lies ahead.
                        Thanks for this, Plumcreek! I have an 8yo that could be a good candidate for this. I think I will schedule an appointment to haul out to the vet for xrays and a discussion on this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jackalini View Post
                          Thanks for this, Plumcreek! I have an 8yo that could be a good candidate for this. I think I will schedule an appointment to haul out to the vet for xrays and a discussion on this.
                          For you and others that might ask their vet about CT surgery, it would be a good idea to cut, paste, and print the relevent parts of the reference thread, hand it to your vet, and ask that they review it before forming any negative conclusion. Or ask them to call Littleton Equine Clinic (Littleton Large Animal Hospital) or Colorado Equine Clinic, phone numbers in original thread.
                          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                          www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Plumcreek, that was an excellent thread, and I'm going to call as soon as I get a chance and see if they can refer me to anyone near Seattle for an eval and work-up. I have money for the surgery, but not enough money to go through a couple of different vets and different evals and try a bunch of treatments. I've already had her back pain worked up several times, and nobody can see anything there anymore that would cause her to have her current symptoms.
                            Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

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                            • #15
                              My daughter's mare is 16 and is having her hocks done for the first time. She was dragging her left rear two and was 3/5 positive in that hock. She was 1/5 positive in the other hock. She is a jumpers and tends to get real strong on the left lead. She is also going on a course of Adequan and Legend. She is a real sound mare and I have been lucky she has gone this long.

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