Diagnosis and Treatment

After the bone scan yesterday Finn had very little light up during the soft tissue phase. During the bone scan phase a few hours later his hocks lit up a lot, as well as a section of his back. His SI's also lit up. His hocks have only ever flexed a 1 out of 5, so I was pretty surprised about that. I probably wouldn't have x-rayed his hocks for a while because he never flexed poorly.

This morning the doctors did multiple x-ray's on his hocks and his back. His hocks didn't show as much inflammation on the radiographs as they did on the bone scan, but there were arthritic changes. His back also showed arthritic changes. Vet recommended 6 back injections, and lower hock injections. He said we can wait on the SI's for a few months and have my vet do them later this Spring. I will most likely have to do back injections every 8 months, and hocks every year. He also recommended Tildren. After calling Finn's regular vet and discussing we did decide to go ahead with the Tildren as he has had so many issues, and weighing the pros and cons, it seemed beneficial to go ahead and do it (more on this later).

We're also putting him on robaxin, a muscle relaxer that he's been on before, for the short term while he gets back into work. He is also on Equioxx (NSAIDs) until Thursday. I am going to discuss with my regular vet about putting him on Pentosan, and taking him off feed through joint supplements.

Finn is on stall rest tomorrow, and is allowed in small turnout for a week, then we can resume regular turnout and back to work. I am going to lunge him in the Pessoa, and work on going long and low at the trot to build his back muscles. I am in no rush to get him back to work, I just want him to be comfortable and he'll let me know when he's ready for more. The vet did say that he should have NO problem going back to a regular work load that will eventually include jumping. I am going to be overly cautious right now though.

Now, Tildren. I have read a bit about it. http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/tildren-making-greater-inroads-united-states-0

"This is where Tildren goes to work. In a horse with navicular or any other chronic bone condition—ringbone, for instance, or osteoarthritis of the hock—Tildren inhibits bone deconstruction by shutting down what are known as osteoclasts. Osteoclasts, like hungry termites, digest bone, and Tildren impedes their progress.....Tildren is not a cure-all, and there are still some drawbacks. The drug targets bone and, specifically, the processes that affect bone degeneration. So that means it won’t ease any lamenesses caused by tendon, ligament or muscle injuries."

Since Finn definitely has arthritic changes, and the vet said we would do the Tildren now, and then once again in two months, and then hopefully never again, we decided to give it a shot and hope it would help him along with the injections, robaxin, and pentosan down the road. I have had way too many stops and starts these past two years and have tried too many treatments that haven't worked to not try a treatment that seems specifically for a case like his. There are side effects: there's a slight chance of colic or colicy symptoms. I was also reading some studies that Tildren can potentially make bones brittle, and there were some posts on COTH about their older horses with broken pelvises and other broken bones and blaming it on the Tildren. It's impossible to know if these were in fact caused by the Tildren though. Finn received banamine with his Tildren today to help against any colic symptoms.

Finn was able to come home tonight and he was wound up getting off the trailer as it was dinner time. He didn't finish his grain and was pacing and circling in his stall a bit tonight. He's NEVER had colic symptoms so I'm hoping this isn't the start of anything, and he was just settling in. After everything we've been through the last thing we need right now is a colic.

The vet will get me the clinic report Monday or Tuesday and I will have even more info then, including pictures from the bone scan.

Finn had a LONG discussion with the woman I use to trailer him over whether or not he would get on the trailer. She won. :)


  1. Glad you have a plan. I hope that everything works the way you hope and you have the Finn you knew and loved back!

  2. Hope Finn is feeling better soon!

  3. Glad you were able to get some answers!!

    Here's to these things working for you and Finn!!

  4. Well you have something to work with! I think that bone scan reveled a lot. I've used Robaxin with both my horses (and myself). One with her suspensory that was affecting her back and the other who came to me with back pain. Ive even heard of horses who are just on it ... forever. If you have a picky eater id be happy to give you my dosing recipe/trick. Im real happy that Finn is home and that you have a plan moving forward to get him 100%

  5. Interesting! Who knew horses could have issues like this. I'm so glad there is a treatment plan that might help your boy out. Get better soon Finn!!

  6. I would read up on Tildren. It is very expensive and I contemplated it for Carlos, I decided the risks of Tildren far outweighed the good, and it is really up to you as an owner. But yes, do a lot of research on Tildren.

  7. I'm really glad you were able to find out some things with the bone scan. How's Finn doing with the treatment so far?