One sunny day in August we were called out to see a 1 year old warmblood colt who had a persistently swollen hock and very mild, intermittent lameness. After an initial examination, it was decided that an x-ray would be required to work out what was causing the swelling in the hock joint. Our portable digital x-ray machine allows us to immediately view x-rays on farm. The high quality digital images allow us to make an immediate and accurate assessment of the area of interest.
Unfortunately for this big yearling, the x-rays revealed an OCD lesion as depicted below. OCD is a developmental disease that often affects young, fast growing horses. It is a failure of the cartilage to adhere to the underlying bone resulting in loose cartilage flaps that form within a joint. Depending on the location and severity, the end result is an inflamed (swollen) joint that may or may not be causing a noticeable lameness.
The treatment in this case required arthroscopic surgery to remove the affected cartilage, which was performed by the team of surgeons at the VCC.
This yearling recovered well from surgery and has an excellent prognosis for an athletic career!