Stifle – Inject or ?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  danielle_roberts 4 years ago.

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  • sassypony Original Poster sassypony
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 1

    My horse hasn’t been picking up the correct lead when asked to canter clockwise so after about two months I called out the vet for a lameness exam. She was diagnosed with a left stifle problem this week. The vet suggested I give her two weeks off and prescribed an anti-inflammatory drug for the two weeks. Towards the end of the two weeks she told me to start riding her again and seeing what happens. If no improvement she highly suggests to inject the stifle. Does this sound reasonable? Is there an alternative to injecting? Could the injection potentially have some side effect to it or even make it worse? I’d love to hear knowledgeable replies on this subject!

    TWH Girl TWH Girl
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 31

    Oh gosh, I am going through stuff with my guy and he had his stifle joints injected back in October. I have an appt at large equine clinic to see sports medicine and orthopedic vet on 3/31- in hindsight, I wish I’d done this right away to save myself time and $$.

    Stifles are hocks are hard to differentiate. How was your horse diagnosed with a stifle issue? Were x-rays taken, or was it flexion tests and palpation? In retrosepct, I wish I would’ve had x-rays done. The plan your vet gave so far sounds harmless and quite conservative. There is a great article in Equus Magazine’s April issue that discusses stifle injuries. Injections can help, but honestly, the results are not usually dramatic like with hock injections. Stifle injuries are hard to treat and hard to get the horse back 100%. If you have it done, I would have it done by a good sports med vet who specializes in lamesess issues. Other things you can try prior to actually injecting the joint itself would be Adequan, Legend IV or Pentosan.

    I am not sure if my boy’s issue is hock, stifle or low back, but I will know soon enough and lots of $$$ later! Wishing you good luck with your girl.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by TWH Girl TWH Girl.
    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    If it’s a stifle issue a lot of the time it won’t show up on X-rays. They need to do more of an ultra sound on the joint.

    My older gelding had a stifle injury a few years ago(before I got him). The vet said it was as if a football player got tackled in the knee.
    The biggest thing if it is a stifle is the proper rehab. So many people don’t rehab their horses properly. Because mine wasn’t rehabbed properly he can no longer trot for long periods of time or canter for more than a few steps, he can’t do small circles either and no more dressage.

    They recommend hill work because it will strengthen that joint up.
    I’ve never heard of stifle injections, only hock injections. Maybe get a second opinion and even have a body adjuster come out, maybe that will help too.

    Good luck. I know how frustrating things can be when we can’t figure out how to help our horses.

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    TWH Girl TWH Girl
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 31

    Stifle joints are injected the same way hock joints are. It’s quite common. My gelding had his stifles injected Monday and my instructor just had her horse’s stifle injected too. Digital x-rays can show a lot. My guy has OCD of the R stifle but they injected both sides to help minimize any issues.

    I’d start with a course of Adequan and a good lameness eval, and move up to joint injections if warranted and if Adequan fails to help.

    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    There are different types of stifle injection. Blistering is the most common, (I’ve never had much luck with blistering but others have). I have had good luck with hyalovet/kenalog injections its more expensive but from my experience it works better. Many vets in my area are now splitting (splicing?) the stifles, less complications than cutting as a permeate solution.

    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 3

    You might have had an x ray done while it won’t help determine anything with the stifle you will rule out hock issues. I have wasted a lot of time & money trying to fix apparent stifle problems, but eventually had an x ray done & found out it was a hock problem.

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