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An Inside Look: Sierra's Hocks

When I purchased Sierra, they told me she had bad hocks and was sound but couldn't jump to the level they wanted so they sold her.  I was always a little worried of her hocks giving out and she did sell with 1 measly view of each hock to which my Vet couldn't provide a legit diagnostic opinion due to the limited information but it was evident the Hock had a long way to go before it was 'shot'.  Given that it was always lingering in the back of my mind, I had a plan to take full views of both hocks to have a baseline for the future, and on October 21st we made it happen.

Original Rad of Right Hind

Original Rad of Left Hind

We started with the left hock, and took several views.  My Vet noted a small bone spur on the lower joint but the joint spacing was clear and showed minimal signs of fusing.  There is perhaps a little evidence of such occuring on the inside bottom joint, but very minor for a horse with her 'miles'.

We then moved onto the right hock which was my main concern as that was the one they described as 'the worst' when I purchased her.  Only having 1 old Radiograph to go off of, it was an * almost * blank slate but regardless, after all my struggles with Kidd I really wanted to remain pro-active.

The right hock showed more fusing and less clear joint spacing, especially on the outside of the joint. It also showed a little bit of arthritic changes as well as matching bone spur on the bottom joint.  It is most certainly 'worse' than the left, but my Vet, a lameness specialist from Central AB, felt these were still quite 'clean'.  She did not advise any direct injections at this time and suggested I keep on the schedule of Pentosan every 45-60 days.  

 Following the appointment, I tacked up to ride as I waited for my husband to bring our Draft mare in for her dental appointment, and she watched me ride and felt she was fully sound and had no concerns or reservations about her hocks.  She said if we were doing a PPE based on those x-rays, she wouldn't have flagged them as concerning and not to worry myself over them.

While I do look at them and think a little 'eek, what about this, what about that' I have to remind myself that I am not a Vet and I trust mine entirely, especially when it comes to soundness.  For her to say a horse is sound and doesn't need injections, it's like getting the golden ticket, honestly.  Overall, comparing to the old rads, from what my Vet could see, she couldn't pin point any significant changes.

Overall i'm really glad I bit the bullet and had these done as baselines for her file.  While she may not need any additional support right now, it will be great to refer back to them in the future and track changes.


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