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Old 01-13-2011, 03:29 PM  
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Swollen hock-HELP!

My 2 year old gelding has a swollen hock. He can bare weight on it, but otherwise, is pretty much lame. He has been on bute, sulpha tabs and stall rest (with hand walking) for over a week. There has been no change.

I shaved his hock area to investigate any injuries. There is a very small scab about the size of a pinky fingernail. There is no pus or anything. We had an icy spell around the same time he came up lame, so I'm hoping he just fell. His hock is swollen and hot. Most of the swelling is on both sides and the front.

The vet came out again today and did xrays and withdrew some fluid out of the hock. It was bloody, and from what I understand is not normal. My vet threw a couple things out there like OCD, a bone chip etc..I am very worried.

I'm posting some pics, and hoping I can get some info and advice. I do not know much about joint injuries, and all the help I can get the better.






Last edited by Tumble_weed : 01-13-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:31 PM  
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None of the photo links work!
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:38 PM  
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The pics are up now
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:16 PM  
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Did the vet look at the x-rays when he was there and not really know? Or are you waiting for him to get back to you? Did he mention irrigating it with cold water or anything to take the swelling down? Although, it's a bit late to begin this. Blood in the fluid does sound like an injury - kick or a fall on ice - like there has been trauma - OCD would be down the road as an injury may start the deterioiation but then it could also be acute...hard to say with the info you've been given so far...
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:19 PM  
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Looks like a big haematoma. If in with others it could be the result of a kick. Have you tried massaging with liniment three times a day. It can help with reabsorption. You don't want it to remain as a mass. Always apply pressure in the direction of hair growth using the heel of your hand. It will begin to feel warm. NOTE: if you rub, don't wrap. or it could blister the skin.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:24 PM  
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It could be a hematoma, good idea! If you search my posts and look for holy hematoma! you can get an idea of what is involved with it.

But it almost looks like the broken splint bone a horse here had. But if the xrays didn't show a fracture... So the vet really doesn't know what's wrong?
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:34 PM  
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My vet was not able to read the Xrays here, but I will post the results as soon as I find out. I have tried liniments and a bag of frozen peas, but nothing has shown any visible improvements.

Last edited by Tumble_weed : 01-13-2011 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:46 PM  
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Have you tried cold hosing it 2-3x per day?
How about bute for the inflamation?
Just wondered.
Good luck, that is quite swollen.
I hope it improves soon.
Keep us posted as to the vet's recommendations.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:28 AM  
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I can't quite "cold hose" where I am, it is quite cold and no wash stall or heated barn. I have wrapped it with a bag of frozen peas for the cold, and yes, he is getting bute daily.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:29 AM  
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I would get a mud poultice like Icetight to put on it for now. Just slap on a whole bunch.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:45 AM  
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Don't stop on the good rubdown with liniment. You need to do everything you can to prevent the swelling from becoming permanent. The rubdown helps increase circulation.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:10 AM  
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A friend of mine also told me to rub. I have, but will do it more often. It seems like he enjoys it. I am wondering about the magnetic hock boots..anyone use them before?
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:27 PM  
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I would wait for the vet to contact you about the xrays before going out and buying magnetic hock boots. Any word yet from the vet?
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:20 AM  
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UPDATE on swollen hock

Just a quick update on my little guy. I have been keeping up on the stall rest, rub downs, and hand walking. The swelling did not change at all. Vet said xrays were a little dark, but he could not notice anything significant. So he is thinking that it is a blunt force trauma injury. We are still waiting for the Cytology report.
The vet came out yesterday and did a hydrocortisone injection, and this morning I notcied a significant improvement in his hock. I would say it's about a 50% improvement.

I know this is a good thing, but I did a little reading this morning, and alot of info I read says that hydrocortisone injections are bad, and they deteriorate the cartilage.

Any advice please! I am so worried about him, I love him to death.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:42 AM  
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I use hock magnets all the time. You could use them, it would help with the swelling. But, if you're using liniment, you can't use the magnets over it. It will cause blistering.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:46 AM  
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Many vets will use the cheaper steroid injection as a primary injection as it is cheap and effective, and one injection is unlikely to make a significant difference. If the injection works, but your horse has a reoccuring issue, he may suggest using one of the more expensive, but less damaging injections.

If it is the lower hock joint he injected, then I would be less concerned, as the horse does not need that joint, and having the cartilege damaged/removed allows the joint to fuse which can really help some types of hock issues. For this reason some vets will continue to use the "harsher" cortisone injections to help the fusion process along.

I am glad to hear your horse is doing better, and I hope he continues to improve.

Perhaps ask your vet if the use of DMSO would help further reduce the swelling and help the healing now that you are fairly sure there is not bone damage. DMSO can help break up the damaged tissue and clean up the area.

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