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Should I have my horse’s hocks injected?

Having your horse’s hocks injected is a decision only you, along with guidance from your primary vet, can make. There are many reasons to have a horse’s hocks injected. These include chronic hock pain from conditions such as bone spavin or pain caused by osteoarthritis. Hock injections can also be used as a preventive treatment. A horse athlete’s joints respond to the rigors of training much like their human athlete counterparts. Injecting the hock joints helps to keep the joints lubricated and reduce swelling.

There has been concern in the past that the steroids contained in the injection did more damage than good and sped up the arthritic development in the joints. In years past this was a valid concern. The steroids we use today are less damaging to the joints, making them safer to use and when combined with the hyaluronic acid, synthetic joint fluid, the effects are greatly amplified.

Each owner should weigh the advantages and disadvantages, along with the guidance of your veterinarian, when determining if injecting their horse’s hocks is the appropriate treatment.

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