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Hock OCD

Horse Management Thread, Hock OCD in Horses and Ponies; I recently had Xrays on my 8yo paint and devastatingly he has a bone cyst (OCD)in his left hock over ...
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default Hock OCD

I recently had Xrays on my 8yo paint and devastatingly he has a bone cyst (OCD)in his left hock over the medial malleolus.

The reason for the xrays was that he was pigrooting into the trot canter transition and almost couldnt do it but only under saddle didn't do it lunged. This got worse over about a month

On the lunge he drags his left leg (outside) rear when circling right.

Had the vet out
- flexion tests and full exam normal

Had another vet out
- failed flexion test on left rear leg and noted the dragging leg on lunge

Went for Xrays - failed flexion tests on right leg.

High potassium 6.8 (normal up to 5.8)
Neither vet thought much of this

After my vet discussing this XR with a surgeon the surgeon suggested steriod injections rather than arthroscopy

I am a bit devastated and lost at the moment.
Has anyone dealt with anything like this before

Also since I have owned him he has become nervy, and twitchy and touchy with flinching to any touch - is this the potassium

He gets supplemented with salt and magnesium in feeds
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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Ouch ouch ouch ouch! Poor thing
Just seen this on a bone (tonight, actually LOL!), and boy oh boy does it look painful.

What is the course of treatment?
..You are now manually breathing..
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:23 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your boy Neats.

We also have a Paint with OCD. It's unfortunately more common in the heavy breeds with relatively straight hindlimb conformation.

With the high potassium level I would be a bit concerned about HYPP. Does his line date back to the QH stallion "Impressive' at all? I would send off a DNA sample to test for HYPP just to rule it out. It can cause weakness in the hind end. Some horses don't show signs until later in life.

8yo seems pretty old to be showing lameness due to OCD for the first time. Did the vets nerve block the joint and did that make him go sound? I would definitely do that to make sure there is nothing else going on. A horse can have an OCD lesion on xray that is actually healed and not causing lameness.

Follow the advice of a good equine vet. I would try intra-articular cortisone injection first, you can always go to surgery as your second option. But first make sure it's definitely the OCD lesion causing the problem.

Also, some OCD lesions tend to be bilateral so it's always worth radiographing the other leg too.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Initially the vet thought he might need arthroscopy to scrape out the cyst

however he has spoken with a vet surgeon and this fellow thinks that he would benefit from intraarticular steriod

I just want my horse back - but know it may never happen

Apparently in this condition it is diagnosed in yearlings and 2yo and they have the op and do very very well
He is 8yo we are not sure of any outcomes.

Cheval - we did Xray his other leg which is ok
Interesting you mentioned the nerve blocks
My vet said they probably wouldn't be of any benefit
But I got a second opinion over the phone with a vet at Eagle farm (Queensland near bris) I am on the sunshine coast
THe second vet said I should block the hock and make sure it is that

I honestly don't know what to do.

My vet reckons the steriod injections are worth a go.

So should I block the hock and make sure its that, and possibly go and see this other vet or just continue with the first vet and just do the injections.

Last edited by Neats; 08-08-2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Neats View Post

So should I block the hock and make sure its that, and possibly go and see this other vet or just continue with the first vet and just do the injections.
If he was my horse I would take him to an equine specialist vet (which is probably with whom your GP vet consulted).

Definitely nerve block the hock because otherwise you don't even know if that is where the problem is. The hock can be tricky to block (lots of little joints in there) so it's definitely worth getting the specialist to do it. If he doesn't block sound then they can keep doing a full workup and isolate the lameness.

HYPP is not uncommon in Paints and QHs. It costs about $30-50 to send off a hair sample to the US where they do the DNA test. You can do that yourself, you don't need your vet for that. Just google for details.

Our paint had OCD surgery as a yearling and is now rising 3. He still has the cyst visible on xray but it's no longer causing lameness.

Good luck. There are some Grand Prix dressage horses competing with OCD lesions so don't despair just yet
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:43 AM   #6
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i can't help you with your ocd but i can help with the potassium!

This time of year horses are grazing grasses that are high in mycotoxins. Some grasses are more prone but some horses are sooo sensitive that even hay can set them off. The mycotoxins in the grass throw the balance of potassium and magnesium out...the body can't get enough magnesium and can't flush the potassium out. This causes all sorts of erratic behavior (i had a gelding that was convinced he was a stallion right down to roaring and full erections! he was also highly dangerous undersaddle)

The first thing to do is get yourself some Toxin Binder. Probably the easiest her in perth to get is Toxdefy from Sue Buckley (pm me for her number she is a wealth of info!) you will then need to bump up his magnesium levels. I have used Thiamag from Advanced feeds or plain magoxide both did the job and are not as expensive as the one sue will try and sell you! That fixes the mag levels then you need to help the horse to flush the potassium. All you need to add a good helping of salt to the feed each day to encourage drinking, about 50gms for a normal horse per day.

hope this helps. have a look at this website as it has heaps of information on it Gotcha Equine - Saving Horses and Helping Owners Smile Again
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:21 AM   #7
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The ONLY way to diagnose OCD and its potential for a good outcome is X-ray....you've done that.
Get your vet to email the images to a specialist vet....one who specialises in limbs like Randwick in Sydney. Digital x-rays can be emailed for an opinion and then a possible surgeon can be contacted.

The operation costs about 4K and takes about 6-8 weeks for recovery of gradual movement from stall to yard and then paddock.

Without an operation or some aggressive treatment for his pain and discomfort I doubt you are going to have a very rideable horse.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
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The xrays were sent to a surgeon in Sydney I am not sure who but he is somehow affiliated with the vet school

His recommendation was not for operation and for steriods
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #9
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I would try the injection first and I think you will be surprised by the improvement.
Stay positive!

I had never heard of a bone cyst until I myself had an MRI on my pelvis area due to pain in my tailbone and the MRI showed a cyst on the bone. My doctor however ssaid it is of no concern and if the pain persistered I could have a Cort injection or an epidural.... I'm going for neither until it gets to the stage where I cant ride.
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:19 AM   #10
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I would nerve block just to be 100% sure that it is the hock that is causing his lameness issues.

Some horses can show extensive arthritic changes on x-ray but no signs of lameness, while others will be completely lame with only mild arthritic changes on X-ray. X-rays are a good indicator but not always a definitive diagnosis for lameness issues.

My horse has arthritic changes in his hock (from a fractured hock) and moves differently on that leg. He has had it injected with a corticosteriod in the past and it worked well. I am thinking of getting it done again as it is causing him some minor issues but it has been 4 years since the previous injection.
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