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Horse with arthritis in hock

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby larnold5138 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:26 pm

Mariah, the mare I am going to be taking into sanctuary but currently she is not doing well. Before rescue she was probably repeatedly kicked and has bone spurs and/or these splinters on the hock. She has been lame on that hind leg but was doing fairly well. Always being monitored by a vet. About a week before the move to FL she became noticeably more lame. She was taken into the vet for a steroid injection before the trip East. She has been on a regimen of Bute as well. Now she won't even use the leg. A FL vet has come out and he thought possibly an infection had developed in the joint. After a round of very strong antibiotics, she is still lame. She is happy, eating, and even running but only on 3 legs. I'm having a little trouble researching and finding if other horses have lived a fairly comfortable life basically using only3 legs. She has been confined to a small area per vet's request to see if that would help...it has not. She can run with the best of them on 3 legs but it is obvious that she is in pain when she puts that leg down. This sweet girl has had such a hard unhappy life only to finally find happiness after rescue.

I am also interested to hear results if anyone has medically fused the hock on a horse using either MIA or ethyl alcohol. Both seem to be a new treatment with great results.
Thanks,
Lila Arnold
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby critters » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:28 am

:slant: I don't know anything about big critters, but others here do, so hang on!
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby Toni » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:13 pm

What type of horse is your little mare? How old? How big (height and approx. weight)? Any idea what type of "work" she did before coming into the rescue? When were the last x-rays of her hock done? Was any blood work done to confirm an infection? Where did you move her from?How long ago? What type of trailer was she hauled in ? How long did the trip take and how often were stops made to let the horses out to stretch their legs? Did she get dead lame on that leg right away after the trip or did it take a few days? What type of ground was she on before (green pasture, hard dry ground, rocky, sandy , level, sloped, uneven etc.) and what type is she on now? Does she wear shoes? Does she have any front limb problems (laminitis, ring bone, side bone, bowed tendons, etc.)? How many horses is she usually in with and where is she on the pecking order with the other horses? Is she on (or has she been one) any joint supplements or other supplements / meds besides the Bute and the steroid injection?
I know this is a lot of questions, but each will affect horses legs. There might be more questions after these get answered.These will all affect the types of things to look for and options that might work for your little mare.

Hind leg lamenesses are usually the easier lameness for horses to get along with, as most of the weight is supported by the front limbs. I have heard of horses getting along with fused hocks, although not familiar with the techniques used to get there. I would look into other options to treat the hock before thinking fusion, however. I know of several horses that were diagnosed with infections in various joints not responding to the usual antibiotic regimen who were helped with acupuncture. If thinking acupuncture you might want to look for a vet that specializes in acupuncture rather than one that uses it along with their allopathic practice. Not saying they aren't as good, just the specialist is just that, a specialist.

Looking forward to hearing back so we can hopefully help you make some educated choices for your little girl.
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby larnold5138 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:48 pm

Her last set of x-rays were done Aug. 19th. She has been under a vet's care for the past year and we were told there was very little that could be done for the hock. The hock showed some natural fusion already occurring on the last set of x-rays. At that time she was also given a steroid injection for the trip which was Aug. 21. She arrived in FL on the night of Aug. 23rd. We traveled with the horses for 5 hour blocks of time and then had stopping points to allow them to get out of the trailer to move around for a couple of hours. She was in a slant with padding to help support her as we traveled.

She came into rescue over a year back and had issues with the hock. She was turned out with a group of horses and must have been repeatedly kicked. She was pregnant and gave birth to a still born foal. She was extremely emaciated as were the other horses. They had been eating on the dead foal to survive. She is a large Arabian/Quarter Horse seven years of age. She has been on and off of Bute and has also been getting a daily application of DMSO. Once arriving in FL, she quit using the leg. She does put a little weight on it when walking but when trotting or running with the other horses, she just runs on 3 legs. She is turned out with only 3 mini horses and is not with the other 5 average sized horses. We kept her stalled for a week after the vet started a round of antibiotics but have now turned her back out with the mini horses. She is eating great, grazing, and running happily around. We are just worried about any damage to the other legs supporting her weight.
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby larnold5138 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:57 pm

She was showing signs of more lameness right before the move thus the injection of a steroid. However, by the time she arrived in FL, she had stopped using the leg. The trip was hard on her even with the frequent breaks getting out of the trailer. She was the first one loaded in the slant and the last one removed so she would be turned and not backed out to avoid using the back leg as much as possible. She also had polo wraps on all legs and a hock wrap on the bad leg. She also came from very hot temperatures, drought with little green grass (North TX), and the soil is baked red clay. Now the temps in FL are a little cooler, sandy soil, rain, and green grass for grazing. She acts like a young filly. The hock hasn't changed in appearance. It has always been enlarged. The entire hock is involved not just the lower part or the upper part. X-rays show damage throughout the hock. Hooves are in great shape and get trimmed on a regular schedule of 7 weeks. She is not ridden because of her hock and there are no plans to ever ride her. She is just going to live out her life in sanctuary eating and grazing.
Lila
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby larnold5138 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:12 pm

Forgot to load pictures of her.
Lila
Attachments
DSC00329.jpg
Current photo take of her at the ranch. The bad back hock is the one closest in the photo but you really can't tell much from this photo.
IMG_9810.jpg
photo taken at the time of rescue of her hips to show how emaciated she was
150436_193481364109486_508160731_n.jpg
photo taken at the time or rescue
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby critters » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:38 am

You know, you might want to join VetPet http://vetpetpartners.com/ ; there are several equine vets there.
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby Toni » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:54 pm

I forwarded your info to some friends of mine, one is a recently retired equine practitioner the other a recently graduated vet....haven't heard back from either of them, nor my friend who has worked with various equine vets for over 20 years. I will put a bug in their ear to get a reasonable answer.
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby Andrewkable » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:16 am

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience of horses with arthritis in their lower hocks?

My horse went lame last June, and to cut a long story short the vet found he has arthritis in the lower hocks. He had injections into the joints and he is now sound again (touch wood). He is on Cortflex HA and Buteless (Devils Claw) and wears Bioflow magnetic boots 24 hours a day. He is working really well on the flat and over poles, and even though i have been increasing his work to get him fit, he seems to be fine.

I am hoping to do some PN events this season but i'm not sure if this is a good idea or not? Has anyone had or known a horse with lower hock arthritis who has continued to event and been ok? I am guessing it will be a bit of trial and error with how much he will be capable of doing.

Any advise and suggestions will be much appreciated. Thank You
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Re: Horse with arthritis in hock

Postby critters » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:04 am

:whale: I recommend VetPet for you, too. Personally, I don't know diddly squat about big critters aside from what I see on Animal Planet. :mrgreen:
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