Horse Hock Arthritis

Updated November 21, 2016

Arthritis can be a debilitating condition for a horse, especially since its legs bear so much weight. Arthritis doesn't always have to be the end of a horse's career or comfort, however. Work with your veterinarian to diagnose your horse's lameness and to determine which treatment options are best suited for its needs.


Arthritis is a degenerative wearing down of joint cartilage. This can cause joints to thicken and bones to rub against each other, which results in pain.

The Hock

A horse's hock is a common location for arthritis; not only is the hock a major joint of the hind leg, but it is made up of four joints and eleven bones.


Hock arthritis can cause a horse to display signs of a change in gait and stride, pain or stiffness.


Your veterinarian can perform an exam and diagnostic tests on your horse, such as watching your horse move, performing flexion tests and giving the animal a radiograph.


Treatment options includes injections of steroids or joint lubricants, medication (for both pain relief and swelling reduction) and surgery.

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