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Re: RC: spavin

Hi Sherry,

I have a gelding whose hocks are in the midst of the fusing process.
Diagnosed in February.  First symptoms emerged last November.  I too have
been told that eventually the bones will fuse and the horse will become
sound again, but we're not there yet.

The advice I have received is that continuous *moderate* activity is
essential, basically dictated by what is comfortable for the horse.  In my
case, what we have been doing is at is at least 20 to 30 minutes of walking
and/or easy trotting on as flat ground as can be found. Handwalking when
the weather wasn't conducive to riding or I was short of time.  Downhills
are brutal on this problem.  It's hard for me to find much flat ground, but
maybe in Kansas it will be easier. :)  We do this on at least six days out
of seven.  Would probably be better if I could do it twice a day, but my
time hasn't allowed that.

As I understand it, the regular exercise is important for two reasons--it
speeds up the fusing process and it also keeps tendons and ligaments
elastic and prevents their shortening up as a result of the horse's
restricted movement over a prolonged period of time (due either to
confinement or pain, even if not confined).  Even if the bones fuse
properly, the latter apparently can result in less than full recovery.

The key during this period is to manage the pain that comes from having the
bones rubbing on each other enough to allow continued exercise without
interfering with the inflamatory process (i.e., no bute or other
anti-inflamatory).  The inflamation process leads to the calcification that
eventually leads to fusing.

The other issue that may need to be dealt with is general body soreness
from trying to compensate for the pain in the hocks.

Feel free to e-mail me directly for suggestions about the latter two issues.


At 08:42 AM 4/30/01 -0700, you wrote:
>Sherry Davis
>Dear Ridecamp members,
>My mustang (remember Fat Boy?) was diagnosed with degenerative bone
disease, or "spavin" last month.  The attending clinician at KSU
recommended the horse be confined to a dry lot for a month (he had already
had 2 full months stall rest (personal vet reco
>mmendation) with no improvement in condition before I brought him to KSU
vet hospital). He didn't give me any other information.  I am very
disappointed with that experience, however, X-rays did show the
degenerating bone surfaces.
>My research on the web revealed that some vets recommend continued
activity to promote faster bone fusion and that these horses will many
times become fully sound after the bones have fused.
>I would like to know what other people have been told to do with horses
diagnosed similiarly.
>sherry (down in the dumps) and hudson (don't lift that back leg so high
Mom, it hurts when you do that!)
>Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,    
>Information, Policy, Disclaimer:   

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