Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I had hock injections done on my mare Sera. She was acting really pissy for collected canter work - stuff that shouldn't be difficult for her. Her personality can be a little that way; she's complicated. But when she began to look a little short in her left hind, I had a lameness exam done on her.

The vet picks up her back leg and holds it flexed for a couple minutes - when she puts it down - I trot Sera off with her halter and lead rope away from the vet so the vet can watch her move. I trot Sera back toward the vet and we do it all over again with the other leg.

There was some slight lameness in her left hock.

Next the vet did a back exam - ran a plastic needle cover (think ball point pen cap) from Sera's neck, down her back and over her rump... owie... she was sore over her back. Another indicator that she was compensating for discomfort in her hocks.

We X-ray'd Sera's hocks. There were no significant changes. (SHEW!) No bony growths, no bone spurs, no sign of arthritis. Maybe a teeny bit of narrowing in the middle plates of her hock joints.

We decided to inject.

The vet injects both sides of the joint with a solution that is partially steroidal and partially a compound similar to joint fluid that keeps things lubricated and moving well. Sera was rested for a day after the injections. Then light work for a couple days and back to regular work.

She improved. Her pissiness went away. She seemed smoother when I rode her.

When our vet returned to examine Sera's back and do some laser therapy, the pain in Sera's back was diminished significantly. We did the laser treatment anyway to assist with any lingering discomfort that may have been there and lemme tell ya', it feels wonderful to have my sweet Sera Sue back.

I know most performance and working horses have this procedure at some point but this was my first go 'round with hock injections. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at first - didn't feel good about it at all to tell you the truth. Spent a lot of time thinking it over and talking to veterinarians about it. Now, however, Sera seems so much more comfortable that it's sitting purty good with me.

How about you? Has anyone else out there had hock injections performed on their riding horses? What was the outcome?

1 comment:

Heather said...

My old gelding (when I was a kid showing english pleasure) was on Cosequin and that really helped him. I noticed a lot less popping in his hocks while we warmed up. I have heard lots of good things about hock injections though. Are you using Adequan? Dressage Mom has been trouble shooting with her gelding's back pain. The process has been complex but very interesting. It is strange how sometimes the original pain causes other pain and sometimes the expressed pain isn't the root of the problem.