Spavin in the Horse's Hock
A Bog Spavin occurs in a
An equine bog spavin is a soft swelling on the
front of the horse's hock
The horse's hock, or tibio-tarsal
joint has like other equine limb joints a capsule containing the
If the pressure within this joint increases due to inflammation
the joint capsule will bulge out of the surface of the hock giving
rise to what is called a "Bog Spavin".
Unlike a Bone
Spavin a Bog Spavin will appear soft and fluctuating and usually
appear on the inner front part of the horse or
Manipulation will confirm that these swellings are part of the
joint itself - firm pressure on the swelling
will result in the fluid being pushed back into the joint and
then out again at a different point - usually on the outside rear
part of the hock.
Bog Spavins tend to be only a cosmetic problem and do not always
cause a horse to go lame.
They tend to appear in horse with weak hock conformation and
may come and go with exercise.
In younger horses the appearance of a bog spavin
may cause lameness or stiffness. This should be investigated as
the problem may be caused by Osteochondritis.
This is a condition of fast growing horses which can also affect
If the horse's hock conformation is basically good a
veterinary surgeon may drain the fluid from the swellings
through a needle under local anaethetic.
This will acheive an immediate short term cure for a bog spavin
- but the fluid usually returns. Repeated drainage
is generally inadvisable.
Special elasticated bandages with strategically placed pads are
available to place pressure on and thus reduce swelling, but even
with these a bog spavin will often reappear.