Murietta Equine Blog

Case 2, Hock Lameness


Gelding Y is a five- year old Quarter Horse, use is upper level Barrel Racing.  Recently he has refused to enter the arena, will not rate the 2nd and 3rd barrel (right turn), he elevates his head and does not “fire” when coming out of the turn.


  • Note that a baseline examination three months earlier was negative for any lameness.
  • All palpations and motion ranges were unremarkable.
  • Lowgrade right hind limb lameness is observed in a trotted straight line and clockwise circle.
  • The lameness did not change after blocking below the hock and markedly improved after blocking the nerves above the hock.
  • After the RH lameness was blocked out, there was a lowgrade LH limb lameness.



  • Arthritic changes of both hocks, both lower joints (Rt. > Lt).
  • Central Tarsal bone changes. 


  • The hock arthritis was addressed with corticosteroids injected into the two lower hock joints (radiographic needle position confirmation of the middle joint).
  • A systemic dose of Tildren was administered to address the bone changes.

Results:  There was no lameness improvement 6 weeks after the treatment, but if a low dose of Banamine was given prior to competition, no issues were noted and the performance was competitive.


Continued Diagnostics: MRI 

Diagnosis:  Severe Bone Bruise (Edema) in addition to the Arthritis.

Treatment Options:

  1. Continue to compete and administer Banamine.
  2. 3-6 month period of non-athletic exercise should allow for a complete recovery.





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