Spavin in horses – early help is neededSpavin is one of the most
most common joint diseases among riding and driving horses.
It is a degenerative disease of the hocks with acute inflammatory episodes as well as chronic complaints. it is a form of arthrosis.
The spavin is not curable, as the associated bone proliferation at the hock joint progressively leads to ossification of the joint.
The causes of spavin in horses are complex: Over- and incorrect loading as well as Injuries, but also unkempt hooves or an incorrect shoeing, joint malpositions or also a mineral deficiency can promote the development of spavin.
The course of spavin is insidiously and the first symptoms are usually only with difficulty recognizable.
Typical signs of incipient spavin are Pain in the hock joint, which can Lameness (z. B. when leaving the box) show. During an acute inflammatory flare-up, the affected ankle is usually swollen and warm.
Affected animals are not permanently in pain. You can basically live well with the disease. continuing to be ridden.
The course of the disease can be improved with appropriate treatment Positively influenced become. Thereby the early diagnosis. Treatment crucial.
The spat treatment should multimodal be built up. Besides Hoof care and a suitable Horse shoeing, an adapted, individual exercise training and the right fodderr, biological veterinary medicines from Heel Veterinar can provide good services in the treatment of inflammation and pain.
Spat in horses: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment of the hock disease
The fact that a horse is lame from time to time is something every horse owner knows. However, if the diagnosis of spavin is made, many owners are confused. What does spat mean for the horse? Does it have permanent pain. How it can be treated?
The diagnosis of spavin rarely means the "end" for the riding horse. Appropriate veterinary treatment, husbandry and feeding, as well as a suitable exercise program, can significantly reduce the symptoms of hock disease and contribute to a better quality of life for the horse.
What is a spat disease in a horse??
Spat, also called bone spat, can be traced back to the Old High German term "Spatz" (= bone or knot) and belongs to the degenerative joint diseases. Spat includes various acute inflammatory but also chronic symptoms in the hock joint of the horse. The acute phase is characterized by inflammation the small joints, the periosteum and of the bone. Often also the spavin tendon, which is located on the inner side of the hock joint, is inflamed. If the inflammation persists over a long period of time, it damages the articular cartilage and destroys the surface of the joint. There is an Arthrosis.
Untreated, the body of the horse reacts with Bone growths on the inside of the hock. This ultimately leads to joint space ossified and the joint stiffened. In most cases, however, the horse can then move again without lameness and pain. However, further inflammatory processes can attack the bone again and, in the worst case, dissolve it.
Depending on the cause, the complaints in the horse can be unilateral or bilateral. An important characteristic of the disease is that it is mostly in spurts occurs. Affected animals do not suffer permanently from pain, can basically live well with the disease and can often continue to be ridden.
How to recognize spavin in a horse?
Spat is one of the degenerative diseases, which develops develop insidiously and usually with pain are connected. For riders and horse owners it is usually difficult to even recognize spavin. Often the horses initially show only a slight lameness in the hock joint, z. B. when they come out of the box. This disappears again when the animal is in motion for a while. Sometimes the lameness shows up only when the horse is trotting.
The more advanced the spavin, the more the horse's movement is affected. This can show itself in swingless and shortened trot, through shorter steps and kicking as usual, Difficulty in changing pace or increased stumbling. Due to the pain and the resulting posture, the horse will rest on the toe of the hoof, so that the toe or. the horseshoe in this area more worn become. jumpers often jump badly or refuse to jump at all. Trotters gallop up at higher speeds or in turns. The longer the animal rests its hind legs, the more the back and croup muscles become weak. Thus also tense, pain-sensitive back muscles or a crooked pelvis be a sign of a spat disease.
How does a spat disease develop in a horse??
Spat is one of the most common joint diseases among riding and driving horses. Animals of any age can be affected by the wear and tear disease. Your causes are multilayered. Often they are Consequence of an overload or misload. In younger horses, the condition can usually be traced to a specific event such as a fall, a blow or a strong twisting. Also Injuries Such as kicks, bruises or sprains can cause a spat.
A durable overstressing of the ankle joint is probably the most frequent cause. Many demands made on the horse can damage the joints, especially if the horse is not sufficiently trained. These include z. B. to early gathering or too high jumps. On the other hand Lack of exercise or long periods of inactivity (z. B. Bone substance slowly degraded. Thereby a late illness is favored.
Other possible causes are:
Unkempt hooves or a false Shoeing. This can change the load in the joint.
malpositions of the Joints and of the Beins. They can lead to incorrect stress on the ankle joint.
Mineral deficiency or wrong feed
Genetic predisposition and hormonal disorders are also discussed as a possible cause
Examination and diagnosis of spavin in horses
In order to determine the disease it is important to examine the animal both at rest as well as in motion to examine. In the early stages a diagnosis of spavin is rather difficult. Several examinations are usually required. Most likely spat during an acute inflammatory episode diagnose. Then the horse spares the affected leg. Goes clearly lame on a hind leg. The Hock joint is mostly swollen and feels warm to.
The veterinarian will also carry out the so-called Spat or flexion test perform. For this purpose, the hind leg is held up for about one minute and extremely bent. Afterwards the horse must trot forward a few meters. Depending on the severity, the lameness gets better after several kicks or the horse continues to be lame. However, the spavin test can only provide a clue, because lameness can also be caused by other joint problems. With the help of X-rays the condition of the hock can be better assessed and the typical symptoms of a spat Changes in the bone as well as incipient bone growths (exotoses) should be determined. However, an exact diagnosis can often only be made in advanced stages. Through the anesthesia of the ankle joint (local anesthesia of the painful areas), spavin can be diagnosed more clearly: If the horse walks without lameness after the anesthesia and the new flexion test is negative, this confirms the suspicion of spavin.
Therapy of spavin in horses
Unfortunately there are no treatment, with the spat completely healed can be. Therefore, the aim of the therapy is to relieve the animal of the pain and to stop the progression of the degenerative joint changes, especially in horses that are in the initial stage, to stay as long as possible. The aim here is to prevent the development of inflammation in the hock and to support the regeneration of the affected structures as much as possible. A timely treatment is therefore very important for the success of the treatment of the onset of spavin.
In the acute phase of the disease, the veterinarian supports the patient with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medication medication. This is how the swelling at the affected joint goes down. The thrust of the spat is contained. Biological veterinary medicines (z.B. From Heel Vet) to use. Treatment with hyaluronic acid injected directly into the joint is also an option.
In acute phases, the Farrier an important contact person. Through the correct position or a special orthopedic shoe he can relieve the affected areas of the hock joint. This can spare the animal pain. Make walking much easier.
Depending on the course of the disease and the progression of the spavin, it may be advisable to take a Stiffening of the hock specifically and to eliminate the pain locally. Various surgical interventions are available here as therapy options. They all aim to accelerate the ossification of the joint. Finally it ossifies completely. The horse becomes pain-free.
The owner himself can also do a lot for his animal suffering from spavin: For example Movement the be-all and end-all, to supply the cartilage in the joints with nutrients. Thereby a long and thorough warm-up phase essential for spat horses, as they need longer to warm up properly. Hard ground and tight turns are rather uncomfortable for the horse's aching joints. In addition, horse owners should on highly stressful work like high jumps or traverses do without. It is best to tune in individual training with the treating veterinarian. In addition to appropriate training should also Posture and feed be adapted to the spat disease.
How to prevent spavin in horses?
The right prophylaxis starts already in foal age. A sufficient and balanced Mineral supply, the correct feeding and movement are essential for the development of the joints. Even with adult animals, the most important factors in the Spat prophylaxis: a nutrient balanced feeding, a correct hoof treatment, a training adapted to the horse's performance level as well as adequate Warm-up phase. In addition, it should always be rest breaks should be scheduled so that the horse can recover from. Injuries should generally be completely cured before the horse starts training again.