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Discussion on Swollen hock

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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Jan 19, 2003 - 12:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I have a 20 month old colt that presented with a swollen hock only on the inside. It was a acute onset and there is no lameness involved. I had the vet out and she thinks he has an infection. He was running a very low temp 101. She started him on Gentamicin and Penicillin and said she will x-ray Friday if swelling is not gone. My question is does this sound like a reasonable diagnosis? Why or how would he all of a sudden get an infection in his hock? I am worried he got cast in his stall and chipped or broke something.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7622
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jan 20, 2003 - 6:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Melody,
Without lameness infection in or around the hock seems unlikely to me also. As a general rule infection is very painful. Of course with no lameness a chipped bone or break in unlikely too. The diagnosis depends on the nature and exact location of the swelling.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 6
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Jan 20, 2003 - 10:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Thanks I realize it is difficult to say without seeing the hock itself. The hock is swollen in the same area you would have a boggy hock it is the size of a grape fruit and is only painful if you push on it it is very hard not soft. He stands on it very comfortably and walks and trots pretty sound as well although I have only trotted him inhand to evaluate his movement. I guess the antibiotics is to cover the fact he could have an infection. His lower legs had been stocked up very slightly and were back to normal the following day. I guess x-rays will be in order. What if we dont see any thing on x-rays? could you get this much swelling from a strain? and if so will it ever tighten back to normal size? Thanks again.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7632
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 21, 2003 - 8:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Take it a step at a time, yes radiographs are sensible. If it is the joint capsule that is distended, a joint tap to characterize the joint fluid and its inflammatory components would also be sensible.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 7
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 - 1:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
An update my colt had been on his 3rd treatment of 30cc Penicillin and I think 30cc Gentamicin on Monday his hock swelling was finally coming down. Tuesady the vet was out to treat another horse and checked on his hock and said yes it looked better to her as well while she was there he went through a spell of gas colic.She gave him banamine and dormosadan that was at 11:30 am I got to the barn at 7:30pm and he was very depressed in his stall when I took him out I took his temp it is still 101. I gave him his Penicillin and a few minutes latrer he had a painful episode of gas colic again. The bad part is his hock is back to the size it was when we started treatment on Saturday maybe even a little bigger. The swelling is as hard as a rock and warm is this indicative of a abscess? Still no lameness present. We were going to go with 3 days Gent along with the Penicillin and then continue with the penicillin for a total of 6 days and then re-evalute but do to this set back she wanted him back on the Gent. The last shot was given at 10:00 am on Monday. Would you reccomend tapping the joint even though it is so hard? The vet said it is an abscess and that it will just take time to respond and to be patient I am very nervous because I know these can become a soundness issue in the future. What things should I be looking for? if it is going south on me?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7636
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

With no lameness or remarkable pain, infection is unlikely. I still am unsure what tissues are swollen, or the nature of that swelling, so I really do not have any sugestions other than those I have given. What tissue or structure exactly does the vet say is abscessed?
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 8
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I am sorry she wrote on her bill infection of the tarsus.
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 9
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 22, 2003 - 6:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I just left the barn the swelling is now moving down the horses leg he is depressed and not eating well eaither.Temp is still 101. swelling is very hard. The vet is thinking it may be related to pigeon fever as there have been several cases at the barn. He is on Gent and Pen. for 5 more days then re-eval.
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 10
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jan 23, 2003 - 12:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Home again from the barn my colt seems much perkier he is sore in the neck from shots so I had to hang his hay up he was very happy after that and ate well. The entire leg is swollen now so I have wrapped both for support I took him for a walk he trotted beside me and looked very sound. Could this be a celulitis? I am worried that it has been swollen for almost a week now. The swelling is now all around the hock and not just on the inside and has moved all the way down the leg swelling is still very firm.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7638
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 23, 2003 - 3:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We keep going around this issue of location of the disease Melody. It is important as different tissues and structure require different treatment for the same disease. The "tarsus" specifically is the collection of little bones making up the hock: does this horse have a bone infection?

The tarsus is also a general term for the hock, inclucing the joints, the tendons, the ligaments the subcutaneous tissues, even the skin. Which tissues does she feel are infected? The depression and not eating, as you note, could be do to the medication you are giving. ? In general infections anywhere in the leg, including infectious cellulits) are painful and cause lameness.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 11
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Feb 7, 2003 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I took this colt for a 2nd opinion we had x-rays done that showed nothing but a little thickening of the medial colateral ligament, he tapped the hock and the joint fluid looked normal he sent it to the lab for a joint cyctology and a inflamatory profile and those too were normal. He then told me I can try a sweat wrap on but that I am going to be left with a boggy hock because the swelling has been there for almost 3 weeks.I am very upset at this news I am glad the horse is not lame but the swelling is a issue and this is a hard area to sweat. I am told it really does no good to drain it and then pressure wrap as the tissue has been streatched out for to long. At this point the swelling is more than just a boggy hock it is huge and ugly.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7752
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Feb 7, 2003 - 5:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So this is a distended tibiotarsal joint with minimal inflammation. While he is correct that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have been better I disagree with the assesment it is too late to try.

When presented with acutely boggy hocks, I attempt to drain them, inject a corticosteroid and a hyaluronic acid, and start wrapping with a commercial neoprene hock wrap, if I could find one small enough. Systemic antiinflammatory treatment, like bute, is logical. I would use a little cotton packing to concentrate the pressure over the capsule. If I couldn't find one I would be stuck with vetwraped hock bandages. I would not sweat this, just pressure wrap. Treatment might be a month or two but would expect a fair not good) chance of getting the swelling out.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 12
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Feb 7, 2003 - 11:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I am very confused by this whole deal going on I just had a phone conversation with the vet again regarding where to go next with this colt the vet is a little hestitant to say what he thinks is the problem because the horse does not show any typical signs. I asked the question could this be a strain from running around in a deep sand cutting pen he said if you were to tell me I turned this horse out and I found him the next day with this swelling I would say he starined the joint but he should be lame and he is negative to flex and not painful to palpation. He also said it may be possible he has a infection surround the joint in the tissue. This vet is all over the place. He said to continue turn out and the surgeon that works for him said no turn out. So he left it up to me to decide what to do. As I dont feel informed as to what the problem is how am I to make a decision? The swelling goes up with stall rest and down with turn out. So I have placed a sweat wrap on with DMSO and was going to continue that for a couple days. When the wrap is removed the swellling is focused over the tibiotarsel joint like a orange size ball. I am afraid if the joint has been stretched I should not be giving him turn out as it could be weak. as you can see I am a mess. The last words from the vet was let me know how it goes if after 3-4 more weeks goes by and things dont change we can re-x-ray to see if there are any arthritic changes happening. That did not set well with me. I was also going to give him a IV Legend.HELP
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7755
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2003 - 8:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here we go again: uncertainty of which tissues are involved and whether infection is going on. I thought these issues wwere settled by the tap.

It is not true that swollen tibiotarsal joints are always painful. There appears to be a range of injuries to synovial sheaths (the joint capsule) which result in excessive fluid production, yet does not cause lameness. That is how bog spavins and windpuffs start.

Melody, I cannot diagnose and treat your horse I can only provide you with facts.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 13
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2003 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
This is what I was wondering... and facts are what I am after. My question was could he not have just strained the joint capsule and what I have is a result of that. The vets answer was no lameness should go along with a joint strain. But you say he could have done a joint strain and not be lame? I feel the same as you here we go again so now you are not sure what is going on even after x-rays and lab work.He suggested giving IV Legend but is that the thing to do if he is producing so much joint fluid? I am going to try the hock boot and see how that works as well. Am I right in thinking what ever the problem we have to get the swelling under control?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7757
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Feb 9, 2003 - 8:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The term "joint strain" is pretty meaingless: which part of the joint is strained is important for accurate treatment and prognosis. Above I speak about the treatment of a strained joint capsule. IV Legend may help the situation by decreasing the inflammation.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 17
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Mar 10, 2003 - 1:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O \Well we are 2 months into this whole thing and am down to the facts my colt has a strain of the tibotarsal joint I have had a neoprene boot on it with great sucess however if the boot is left off it swells back up. My vet wants to put IA Legend into the joint she does not want to do any steroid will this have any effect on helping the joint? I understand the steroid is the best way to go but I have to haul 2 hours away to get this done. I am wondering if the IA Legend is a waste of time and I should just buck up and put him in a trailer and go to the Equine hospital.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7937
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2003 - 7:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Melody,
Boy getting anything done on your end is like pulling teeth isn't it. He/she really will not inject this joint onetime with a corticosteroid when faced with a probable life long blemish and possible osteoarthritis that will greatly reduce the value of this colt?

The legend is not a waste of time but it is true, you are more likely to get a beneficial effect with a steroid included. Consider the trip, I have had some luck treating early bog spavins with steroids and wraps.

Be sure you do not give up on the wrap, even if it takes longer than my prescribed 2 months above. Because there is nothing to lose, I would persist for 6 months or longer in the hope the tissue will regain it's elasticity. It is important you do not allow it to redistend repeatedly.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 18
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Mar 14, 2003 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O:
Thank you for your opinion. I have 2 horses both unstarted 2 year olds with hock issues and I am faced with the dilema of which to take to the vet first as they will not both go into the trailer safley at the same time. I hate to have the joint gone into again but I was hoping if my vet drained the fluid and did the IA Legend and I was persistant with the neoprene boot it would help. I am very nervous about what this joint will be looking like in the future. He is still sound and negetive to flex. However in all the opinions I have gotten not one has given me a solid exercise do's and dont's. There fore I have been giving him turn out only and have no idea as to when it is safe to start him under saddle. My other colt needs his hocks injected before he can be started under saddle as he has OC type problems that have caused him to be hock sore. I have an Apt. on the 21st of this month to take him and was hoping to beable to take both but after putting them in the trailer for a trial run quickly found out that is not an option. so my local attending vet said she would do the boggy hock but does not want to do a steroid..What is the likely hood of this effecting his future soundness if it has not been a problem yet?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7976
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 - 7:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I usually rest joints like these in a 30 by 60 paddock, turnig them out with the boot on usually results in bandage sores.

Without seeing this Melody, I do not know what the future holds. I have seen those that got tight enough to be uncomfortable but there are horses with boggy hocks with no problems. Before a prognosis is tendered radiographic results should be taken into account.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 19
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 15, 2003 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.o
I went to the barn after reading your post more determined than ever to get both my horses in my trailer. And my persistance paid off. Thank you for kicking me in the but!!! I will be taking both my horses the same day to the equine hospital that specializes in performance horses to have their hocks taken care of. I do have x-rays from about 21/2 months ago of this boggy hock and I will have more done on the apt. day is that enough time between rads to see any changes in the hock if there are any? and if there are no changes is that a good sign? Also I do have a aprox.30by60 pen I can put him in but the footing is pretty deep sand is that ok??? Again thank you and I will let you know how things go next week.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 7980
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Mar 16, 2003 - 7:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Very good Melody. I should have mentioned earlier we have an article on how to load a horse Training Horses Training the Mind of Your Horse Trailer Loading a Horse.

Yes I think this would be a good time to review the radiographc changes, and yes, bony changes on the radiographs is not good and it suggests the original insult may have been bad enough to induce arthritis.

Without looking at the footing I cannot be sure it is ok: deep sand does put extra strains on the leg. If he is sinking much more than a shoes depth, probably too deep.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 20
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 22, 2003 - 11:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Well I am back from my vet apt. I had my colts hock x-rayed and there are no changes from the first film it did however confirm that it was trauma related I can not rember the name of the area but it was on the outside of the joint and very minor. He drained 24cc of fluid out and put 2ml's of Hyvisc and 6mg of Vetalog with 3cc Triamcinolone along with a little Atropine. He then said 14 days stall rest with hand walking and keep the boot on for 14 days if it swells back up I can eaither except it as a blemish or have it injected again.. As for my other colt that I have posted you about "Long yearling with sore hocks" I had both his hocks injected with Legend and Depo Medrol 40mg. They did 2 joints in each hock... What are my chances of this fixing his problem he has mild Juevinile arthritis.I am afraid of putting him to work but they want me to start him in 3 days or they said the injections will be a waste. I have just been doing 20 minutes of walk under saddle with 2-3 minute trotting blocks within that 20 minutes and I try to only trot straight lines,Lunging is kept to a minumin 5 minutes just to see if there are any bucks and always in a big circle. Any thing else I can do to help maintain him???
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 8012
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 22, 2003 - 6:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Concerning the juvenile arthritis and whether this will be fix it depends on the amount of damage already done and the cause of the inflammation. The steroid is not a cure, it relieves the acute inflammation which is an important step to preventing chronic disease. But if the cause of the acute inflammation remains the arthritis will return.

Since this problem has developed in both hocks I believe the horse's hocks are saying this amount of work is too much for his age and skeletal maturity. This horse would benefit from being turned out and just walked or trotted in hand or long lined, for 6 months while he matures a bit.

He should not be worked following steroid injections because of a transient reduced ability of the joint to respond to the normal wear and tear of work. Those who say it will be wasted if he isn't worked are just displaying ignorance about what is really going on. Our suggestions for post injection rest are in the article on arthritis treatment with which you should be quite familiar by now.
DrO

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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 21
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 22, 2003 - 10:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I guess I should have been a little more clear. This horse has been sore since he was a long yearling he is not being worked and only has had maybe 6 rides under saddle. His problems were there long before he was started. The vet had suggested that I not inject him until I was ready to start him under saddle the first time they saw him he was about 18 months old he is now a full 24 months and has been on Legend adequan and GLC and MSM with pasture during the day and stall at night. I took him back to have him injected at there suggestion to make him the most comfortable as possible. So as you can see he has had no work load I guess his problem is most likely OC his x-ray showed small bone spurs on the distal tarsus he blocked out sound in the lower joint in the hock.But still my plan is not to push him and to just take it easy until he is closer to 3.
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 22
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2003 - 11:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I am very concerned about my colt with the OC prob;ems he ws suppose to have 3 days rest with 2 grams bute BID for three days then 1 gram bute BID for 3 days and handwalking for 3 days then he could start back to exercise well he is very sore on one leg. he does not seem to be improved at all and maybe a little worse I noticed the hock he is sore on was the same one they had a hard time getting the needle into on the inside joint they tried 3 times before actually getting it into the joint could this be residual from the injection? The vet said give him 5-7 more days off with bute then re-eval him.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 8031
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 - 6:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Melody,
It is not uncommon that when attempting to inject he tarso-metatarsal joint that several attempts have to be made and this is usually not a source of soreness. The reason is you are having to thread the needle through a relatively small hole.

There are several reasons he may be sore, including a nonrelated source of lameness. Though a post injection noninfectious inflammatory flare is sometimes seen there is also the rare possibility of infection in the joint. I like to see these early myself.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 26, 2003 - 2:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.o
I hauled the colt back to the vets He feels like you it is some type of flare up due to the injection no infection though. He said it is very uncommon for them to get sore after injections mainly because they put a potent anti-inflamatory in there but that there are those occasional few who require bute and rest a bit longer. Does this sound resonable to you? nothing seems to be stait forward with my horses.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 8034
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Mar 27, 2003 - 8:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This reaction is uncommon but not rare. Remember you had 6 joints injected (2 per horse), if I read the above right, so you are more likely to see a reaction. However, without examining your horse I do not know if this was a reasonable assesment or not. Was this a subjective or objective appraisal and what was it based on?

I have to admit, when I read someone having unusual numbers of problems I always start thinking that there are either basic management or possibly, dare I say it, a owner/veterinarian team with an overly active imagination. OF course there is always going to be the very unlucky, and it does seem problems come in threes so perhaps this is just your time.

I recommend you carefully review your goals, plans, management, and training, practices. Review good practices as recommended here in The Advisor. And once you have done all this ask yourself are my tactics achieving my goals? Only once you have done all this will you be able to make real progress.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 24
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Mar 27, 2003 - 11:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Thanks for your thoughts. I have to say I have owned horses for 15 years or should I say I had one horse for 15 years. He had lameness isssues that just came from wear and tear but with careful magement I showed him until he was 23 yeasr old. Over the years I developed what my vet called a pretty good eye for lameness, that vet is no longer practcing due to a injury so I am lleft with using the vets who are mostly track vets and are not very good with lameness issues. The track vet looked at this colt and said well he is just not traveling real balanced behind well that to me is just lame. He is now back to his baseline soundness and I eaither have to except that this is going to be him or give him away. The other thing the vet thinks could be an issue as you mentioned is management this colt is a nightmare he never stops in the paddock at feed time he is rearing up and fighting with the horse on one side of him and in the small pasture he gallops up and down the hills he seems to have endless energy. I do the very best I can. And I do think I have bad luck. And this is more than 3 for me, I lost my old friend to Autto Immune Disease after I gave him a strangles vaccine we tried for almost 3 months to bring him around after many ups and downs and almost 10,000 in hospital bills I had him put down. It has been downhill since. I still think in my gut this has something to do with him growing and still developing. He will go for long periods of time sound and then he shoots up in the butt and starts to look off again I guess only time will tell I am 2 years in now I guess I will have to wait another years at least.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 8035
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Mar 28, 2003 - 6:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You are right, when you get these pronouncements of a weak hind end or not moving balanced, these are ways of saying, "I see something wrong, I just don't know what." Concerning the constant activity, he does not sound hungry enough to me. Maybe a little less grain and a little more grazing would cure a lot of ills? Also is he alone in the pasture, all horses benefit from a buddy: is he a stallion? Perhaps a older gelding would help calm him down. I don't have enough facts just a thought.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 25
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Mar 28, 2003 - 10:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
He is with another 2 year old that just looks at him like he is a nut running around. He is gelded. And gets grass hay morning and night along with 3 cups Crimped oats to get his joint suplements down. I am hoping when the summer months come the heat will sap him of his energy.Its suppose to be close to 80 here this weekend. Thanks for you thoughts and help.
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 26
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Apr 5, 2003 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
I have a question regarding my colt with the boggy hock. I had it drained and injected 2 weeks ago. I have not ridden him in over 3 months he had had about 4-5 rideds on him at the walk with very little slow trotting before he got hurt. He has been on stall rest with confined turn out for the last 3 and half months. Previous to havinfg him injected he was sound and negative to flex it has now been a little over 2 weeks since the injection and I was suppose to beable to start him in some sort of program again.My first time having him out he felt off to me. He does not look lame on a lunge line but when I ask for a trot in a strait line I can feel he is not bring that leg under himself. I am waiting for a call back from the vet but I am wondering if you feel more rest is in order? I was going to have a Legend given just to be safe. And he has not been on bute but I am going to start him on some. His x-rays of the hock 2 weeks ago looked good and compared to the previous ones there were no changes that appeared on the films. Again nothing goes normal for me.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 8090
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Apr 6, 2003 - 9:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Certainly if you think he is lame, you should wait until he his sound.

In the bigger picture you have a 24 month old with 4 months of joint problems that were just treated 2 weeks ago. While distension is a problem I have outlined above how I would deal with that. Once the distension resolved to my satisfaction, I would have recommended at least 4 months rest with gradually increasing paddock and pasture urn out. At each step accessing the joint response and making the next step up depending on 3 weeks of no problems.
DrO
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melody aranguren
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Username: Mlody

Post Number: 27
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Apr 6, 2003 - 12:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
That sounds resonable to me. However I have one question. Since this joint went for almost 2 months before the swelling was adressesd with a hock boot and another month before it was drained and injected isnt it going to be a little boggy anyway? The vet at the equine hospital had said if it swelled again we could drain it again and inject again and if it swelled again I could eaither live with it as a blemish or go in and look with a scope of which he thought was a over kill for this situation. I was under the assumption that because the joint capsule was allowed to be stretched out for so long I was going to be left with a small bog. I am going with your previous reccomendation of about 6 months with the boot even though they said only 2 weeks I figure I have several that fit him good why not use them. I will go with your reccomendation of continued rest I had been handwalking until a couple days ago when I tried turn out but decided against it as it was a brisk day and I thought that was asking for trouble. Thanks again you have a great way of making things black and white and you are right I only think to myself he has had 4 months he should be better by now but thank you for reminding me he just got treatment... I will continue the rest and small turn out. I will keep you updated.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8093
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Apr 6, 2003 - 8:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Time will tell. Yes, the prolonged distension worsens the prognosis but the question is do you want to try for the gold?
DrO
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melody aranguren
Member
Username: Mlody

Post Number: 28
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Apr 7, 2003 - 12:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O
Yes I want to try for gold!!!! But I dont want to be unreasonable eaither. The way I look at it is I have nothing but time on my side. And conservative is always better. I am trying to find a safe place for small turn out like you suggested because he seems to be getting a little to bronky in his stall. I started him on B-1 vitamins to see if that would help calm him for the long term. Do you think handwalking for 15 minutes a day is enough? the turn out pen that I have is about 60 feet long and about 12 feet wide but he gets bucking in there and then slides into the corners so I know that is bad for him to be doing I think perhaps a controlled walk with a chain and stall rest may be safer???The swelling in the hock seems to be staying down when the boot is off. I have the boot on from about 5pm to the following day about 12 noon then off for handwalking and grooming then I put it back on before I go home round 5 pm. I guess I will do that for about another month or so? What would be the ideal rehab protcal for an injury like this? I like to have a plan attack like 15 minutes of walking with trotting blocks ect...
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8094
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Apr 7, 2003 - 6:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you are looking for a specific regimen for rehabing soft tissue (the joint capsule in this case) follow the one presented at Equine Diseases Lameness Rehabilitating Injuries to the Tendons and Ligaments is a good one. Instead of monitoring ultrasound lesions you will be monitoring for swelling of the joint capsule. I think starting with the mild injury category is about right.
DrO
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Reagan Mabray
New Member
Username: Cain

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - 4:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am an assistant trainer at a dressage stable. One of the horses that I ride, a 6 year old warmblood, has slight to moderate swelling of the hocks with swelling in his lower hind legs as well. The stocking up of the lower legs usually goes down slightly with walking. ( He is turned out for several hours every day before I ride him yet his legs still swell) However, this horse used to have a very forward step with alot of suspension. Now he is very unwilling to go forward, he drags his toes, he is unbalanced, his hind legs no longer bend in the stifles but are almost completely straight. It is as if he is dragging them along, swinging pendulums attached to what have become weak hindquarters. In fact, he has lost much of his muscle tone. In addition, he can no longer maintain his canter and I cannot set him back on his hindquarters. An attempt at that and he comes to a dead stop. In order to get him to trot I have to spend at least five minutes kicking him forward and then he stops, bucks, etc... I feel terribly about riding him because I know he is in discomfort but the the owner thinks he is just spoiled and needs to be pushedharder. Unfortunately, he is not my horse and I do not have the the authority to have the vet come and check him,and the owner is reluctant to do anything other than blood work which all came back normal. All that has been done so far is to correct his shoes and that has had a minimally positive effect. Do you have any ideas of what might be wrong and how I can bring down the swelling. I have already been hosing both hocks for twenty minutes each and application of linament to help with stiffness.

Thanks
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1207
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome, Reagan.
You should start a new post by clicking "Start a new Discussion" at the bottom of this topic.

It will take courage, but I would definitely tell the owner I will not ride his/her horse as long as the source of pain and discomfort is not known. You seem to be the one riding this horse and seem to feel that it isn't a behavioral issue . . . and I would agree with you, especially since you see evidence of physical changes.
Your gut is right in this instance, Reagan. Don't be afraid to follow it.

I have had two similar situations of riding for someone else, but knowing that something was definitely wrong with the horse. In both cases, the horses had problems that required them to be euthanized. Owners aren't always the best judges, especially when they aren't the ones doing the daily grooming and riding. In both of my cases, the owners rode in competition . . . and when someone is competing, he/she isn't always tuned into the horse . . . often, he/she is tuned into trying to win and is either unable or unwilling to accept that the horses aren't feeling well.

Continue to read the articles associated with "hind end lameness" on this site. I'm sure Dr. O. and other HA members who have had similar hind-end problems with their horses will be of great help to you, too.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15758
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jun 1, 2006 - 12:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Reagan,
Unfortunately the description of the lameness does not localize or diagnose the cause. For more on this see, Equine Diseases » Lameness » Localizing Lameness in the Horse. Holly is right if you feel the horse is in discomfort when ridden you have a duty to try to convince these owners something needs to be done and quit riding the horse. At the very least consider the recommendations at, Equine Diseases » Lameness » First Aid for the Lame Horse.
DrO
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