Monday, 16 May 2016

Hock Injections

As I mentioned I made Dee an appointment with the vet after she started stopping at all the jumps. I decided to use Mom's vet again as thy specialize in sport horses and do a lot of maintenance on high-performance horses (think cutting horses worth upwards of $250,000).

Dr. Gayle started out by examining Dee. She hardly believed me that she is 19, and that she's a Saddlebred. She told me that she looks really good, and super fit. It's always nice to have a little professional validation. I also told her that she is on a monthly dose of Adequan (or the generic when we can't get it into Canada) and a monthly dose of Legend for show season. All in a preemptive effort to preserve old-lady legs. She thought that is a sound plan and didn't think it warranted adjustment.

Getting fit and shiny

We flexed her front legs and she trotted out clean and sound.

Then she had a mild positive on her left hock. And was nearly crippled after flexing her right hock. We discussed how she is a 19 year-old performance horse who's never had a joint injected. We discussed that her hocks are a very likely culprit for her stopping as she doesn't want to rock back and push off. We briefly discussed doing X-Rays but opted to do injections straight away and X-Ray at a later date if there is no improvement.

Dr. Gayle always does 3 injections into each hock (many vets do two) because she finds much greater success with the extra shot.

She twitched out a needle and her wet white legs made it look super awful
(concerning the first year vet student)

We also pulled a Coggins, did vaccinations and got Chase's alcohol injection while we were there. Add in some Bute, Previcox and the vaccinations for Chase and LittleAsshole and I closed my eyes and wept a little inside at the total. Who needs money for groceries or gas anyways?

Dee got a day off with some Bute and then two days of slow, straight, easy hacks (just to get the blood moving). By Thursday she was back to full work. The injections should reach full effectiveness within 14 days.

I figured we'd have a nice dressage school in the outdoor before our lesson on Friday. I only had 40 minutes to ride before I had to run home and help The Boy fix the brakes on the truck. As we all know, horses give no shits about your timelines. Dee was a fire-breathing, almost out of control dragon. We had no go, barely any ability to turn. All she wanted to do was GO! After fighting with her for just about 30 minutes, just asking her to walk and trot in a reasonable manner I finally gave up on a circle. We finished the ride with some leg yielding into downward transitions because she can't run off on me that way (without being uber belligerent, which she isn't). I got a couple of good ones and called it quits.

Friday's dressage lesson was a tad more subdued but Irina commented that her fitness is impressive and how she was sure feeling fiery. Suffice it to say I think she's feeling pretty good! Turns out all that conditioning I put in this spring is there, it was just masked by pain, tiring her out faster.

Thankfully Dr. Gayle figures we likely won't have to do her hocks again for 12-18 months, since she is so solid and on maintenance already.


  1. Glad the injections are helping her feel awesome :)

  2. She is so fit! When Ries had injections two years ago he had to have an entire week off. But I've got him on good supps and he has flexed negative! I get him tested every 6 months to be safe

  3. Interesting, glad to hear she seems to be feeling so much better already! I'm starting to explore potential similar culprits for my mare's new stopping habit. Except I don't get to call the shots (haha puns) as only a leaser... We will see tho.

  4. Sounds like the injections are doing their job :)

  5. I've had good luck with injections "lasting" forever on my older boy. While the drugs actually wear off relatively quickly (effects of steroid don't last more than 3 months, absolute tops), it seems the reduction of inflammation helps the joint feel better. It takes awhile before the inflammation comes back to the previous high level.

    I dunno, though. Just my experience! Good luck!