Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Wound at or near Hock

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If you wish to have the best functional and cosmetic outcome, no matter the cost.
  • If lameness is noticeable at the walk.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • Even if the horse does not appear to be lame to you.

The hock region of the hind limb is made up of 4 joints, dozens of ligaments, and many tendons and tendon sheaths. Most of these structures are wrapped in thick sheets of heavy connective tissue fascia.

Common wounds to this area result from kicks from pasture mates. Even small puncture wounds from these kicks can involve a joint or tendon sheath. This is especially true for injuries to the inside (medial side) of the hock.

The severity of a hock wounds depends on which, if any, of important structures are involved. Healing in this area is also complicated because it is very high motion, with very little free skin available for repair, and generally poor blood supply.

WHAT TO DO

If your horse has suffered a wound at or near their hock, assess their general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to the rectal temperature, degree of lameness, and degree of swelling and drainage. Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

Take a photo of the injury and send it to your vet for discussion. Early diagnosis, detection of joint and tendon sheath injuries, and treatment of wounds in this area provide the best prognosis for the horse.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

The most important question is whether or not the wound has penetrated the joint or tendon sheath. Vet’s make this determination using a clinical exam, assessment of fluid from joints and tendon sheath, and pressurizing these structures by injecting sterile fluid into them, and looking for leakage from the wound.

Treatment options and prognosis depend on the results of these initial diagnostics.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending