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Discussion on No improvement in churchill test two weeks after hock injections.

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Kate shoemaker
New Member
Username: pacifecm

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 - 1:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horse gets routine lameness exams every 6 weeks. He is a 13 year old warmblood jumper and been getting hock injections as needed since he was 6 (1-3 times a year). On his last exam the vet noted a significant increase of pain response with the churchill test. He was graded a .5 (L) and 1 (R) out of 5 with the spavin test, but was a 2 and 3 out of 5 when the churchill test was done for the last 5 seconds of the flexion.

It has been 11 months since last hock injections and the horse had been moderately shown in the spring (5 shows in 9 weeks). So hock injections made sense. The "inner" and "outer" hocks were injected with a mix of HA and steroid (the one that starts with a T) The horse was rested 5 days; lightly worked 2 days; returned to regular work on the 8th day.

It has now been two weeks and my horse gives me a significant reaction when I push just above the medial splint bone while holding the leg up and forward by the hoof. The response is bilateral. Is this normal?

The vet used xray to ensure position of the needle for the inner hock injections and noted the fluid looked and felt good.

Now what? The horse is resistant to canter until warmed up at the canter regardless of how long I trot. Does NOT start out stiff at the trot, unless I walk too long in the warmup.
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Username: stek

Post Number: 647
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 - 3:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kate, are the lameness exams and injections due to a previous injury or is he becoming lame due/breaking down due to his work load?

Is it possible that he is just not physically suited to the level of work he is doing?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 24842
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010 - 6:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Kate,
There are several things about your post that disturb me:
First, if the Churchhill and spavin test are useful tests for the initial step in localizing lameness but I do not know of any work that suggests it is predictive of problems and would be interested in any such information.
Second, if joint fluid was obtained on the joint stick why do a radiograph?
Lastly I do not know of any research that suggest injecting sound horses joints is beneficial. Indeed the incidence of serious reactions to intraarticular injections of most kinds suggest this may be contraindicated.

If your horse is unsound a thorough diagnostic work up need to localize the lameness and then diagnosis can be started, for more on this see » Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Localizing Lameness in the Horse. If you are treating reactions to tests I would recommend you stop, these are not predictive of disease or even the future possibility of disease.
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