Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sore Tucker

Most Likely His Hocks

My wonderful vet came almost exactly at 2 PM, the appointment time. He's amazing that way.

Luckily, the rain was holding off, so we didn't get too wet as the visit progressed.  First. all the Boys got their fall flu shots.  Dr. Klayman said Chance and Tucker were at a perfect weight going into winter, but he agreed with me that Toby could stand a few more pounds.  He suggested adding oil to his feed--already part of the plan and barley.  I need rolled barley so I guess I'll be out feed shopping tomorrow.  Toby is not thin, but I like to see my horses well covered with an extra layer of fat for the cold weather.  He will be blanketed, of course, and I do keep an eye on him, but fatter is better.

Once all the injections were done, we started the soundness exam for Tucker.  Apparently he showed no signs of pain on any of the acupuncture/chiropractic points, so that's a bit of a plus.  He was pretty sound on the lunge, even in a small circle, although he showed a little "off" step now and then going to the right.

Dr. Klayman checked his front legs and both hoofs. and then did a flexion test of Tuck's hind limbs.

Oh, my. He was definitely lame after flexion on the left hind, and somewhat uneven after flexion on the right. Makes sense to me as he was more resistant to work on the right rein. While that may sound counterintuitive or contrary in that it was his left hind that was more sore....BUT....when a horse is working on the right rein, the left hind has to twist a bit to the inside, especially on a canter depart when that hind leg has to turn to the inside on the depart.

Regardless, we didn't go much further as the flexion test is very non-specific as to which of the hind leg joints it stresses--stifle, hock, fetlock.  But, we already know through x-rays that Tucker has some arthritic changes in his hock, so that is the most logical place.

What to do?  Surprisingly, neither Dr. Klayman nor I were too keen on hock injections, at least not at this point.  I have given Tucker Adequan injections before, but that is also expensive.  Equioxx, an oral pain medication that's much safer than Bute was one option, and the second was Pentosan, an injectable drug that has been used in Australia for a while with great success.  It acts as an anti-inflammatory and also helps rebuild the internal joint structures.  Ideally, it's a series of 7 injections which I can do myself.  After that, the horse might need treatment once a month.  You can also give oral joint supplements--glucosamine/chrondroitin along with the injections.

So, after some discussion, I opted for the Pentosan and Tucker and I are all set for a bit over a month of treatments.  Dr. Klayman says I should see some difference after about four weeks at the most.

It's now a matter of waiting to see how Tucker reacts to the drug.  I must admit he seemed quite pleased that his concerns were being attended to.  Until the last trot for soundness, he was behaving himself like a gentleman.  Then, though, he started striking out as he trotted and Mary, the vet assistant, had to correct him a couple of times.

I guess Tucker always figures he deserves the last word.  *G*


  1. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Good to start with the most conservative option - you can always do more later.

  2. Last winter Naomi gave Tetley some barley and that made him really silly. Fella also reacted similarly so you might want to test Toby on a small amount before you buy a lot, unless, of course, you already know he is ok with it.

    I will watch your results with the Pentosan carefully. Was there no mention of Surpass? I am curious about that too. I hope Tucker feels better soon.

  3. We've never used that particular treatment, but Blue has bad hocks and I'll be interested to see how Tucker does with it. Keep us posted. He must be quite a character if he always needs the last word, I have a few like that, they're so opinionated sometimes aren't they?

  4. I'm interested in the pentosan, too. I've had good luck with hock injections, but they're pricey. The oral stuff seems to have no effect that I can see.

    I hope Tucker is feeling better soon. I did have to chuckle at him striking out with the assistant. What a stinker!

  5. Hope the treatment works. Crossing my fingers for him.

  6. Shannon : I had good result with "the oral stuff". More noticeable when I STOPPED it then when I was giving it.

    I am really interested in PENTOSAN. I am off to do some research then ask my vet to find some.

  7. Glad you found a less expensive option and I sure hope it works. Poor Tuck. (Though he doesn't sound like he needs a lot of pity).