Uno's Vet Check

So in our last lesson, it became apparent that Uno's sudden inability to turn right was more than just bad behavior. I put in a call to our 2 normal vets and had an appointment for the next week.  In between, we hit the trails as a family for some low key walking.

  When Our vet came out she started with her usual pre-adjustment exam and found a few stuck ribs (symmetrically - at the last weight bearing point of the torso) and some pelvic soreness.  The good news is that he severe wither, upper and lower back soreness from last year are gone! AND he is much more flexible through his neck and poll.

The icky - even after the adjustment to unstick his hips Uno still had significant soreness. We walked out to the arena and had him trotted out. Neighter the vet or I saw anything on his first trot out, so she decided to flex his hocks.  The left hock flexed fine with barely a perceptible change at all. The right hock was a different story.

That vet wants to inject both hocks.

I am not 100%.  Injecting hocks is invasive and Uno is still young.  His workload is not what I would heavy: trails once a week (under 5 miles), W-T-C in the arena 2- 4 times a week, a jump school every week.  May - December we go to one HT a month and we will maybe XC school 2 - 3 times a year. I may be completely wrong and this is a heavy workload, but he is only 7.

The vet gave us a bottle of previcox to knock out any inflammation and see how he feels.  We are going to do a week a week of daily dosing then try and drop to a lower dose.  This vet charges $450 to inject both hocks and I just do not have that right now so the previcox will be a temporary measure.

In his first ride post previcox (after 2 days of loading does) he felt AMAZING.  He is still really tricky to get over his back, but when I got all of my aids and timing right he was right there.  I just do not know what to do.  I know in the grand scheme of things $450 is not that much for a horse that gives me so much joy, but the idea of joint maintenance so young just makes me worry.

I would welcome advice, thoughts, experiences, really any comment, if you have gone through the should I/ shouldn't I for injections.


  1. sorry - not a regular reader, so I am not sure how old Uno is. I have a horse that gets injections as part of regular maintenance (just scheduled our 2019 round), but as a 13ish yr old horse who was NOT built for eventing, I think it is totally fair and reasonable.

    My two thoughts if you are hesitant would be to 1 - get xrays to see what is actually going on. and 2 - try something like polyglycan (similar to legand and adequan), which would give all over support without being invasive to the joint.

    Good luck!

  2. injections are kinda a personal decision, as far as i can tell. yes it's risky, yes it's fairly routine. your tolerance for pros vs cons will be different than anyone else's, so it's important to make choices for your horse that work for you.

    personally i'm comfortable with injections for my OTTB. having spoken with his trainer from the track, i know he was injected while racing (many TBs were, regardless of age). and when i bought him as a 7yo, it was with the understanding that i'd be carrying a certain degree of maintenance forward (along with the baseline rads from his PPE).

    also not all injections are created equal. some are more run-of-the-mill than others. some become part of the routine schedule, others can be one-n-done. it's worth talking it out with your friends and trainers and vets! it's possible that, like Emily said, there are other options to try first. like IM injections (pentosan, legend, adequan, etc) or feed thru supps (cosequin, msm, glucosamine, etc).

  3. At 8, my very large RPSI gelding had both hocks injected. I worried about the same things you mentioned. How in the world could I afford yearly hock injections on a horse so young? My vet explained that we were looking at two possibilities: arthritic changes OR a horse who was sore because he still learning how to use his body. We decided not to do x-rays as the treatment was the same. The next year, I had his hocks injected again. It's been a year and a half since that second injection. He's now almost 11, and he hasn't needed a hock injection since.

    I really felt like my vet was right. Izzy just wasn't using himself correctly, so he was sore. I am glad I did it as he feels great now. If you can afford it, it might prevent future damage to to the joint. It's definitely a tough decision. Best of luck!


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