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Hock Headaches: Bog Spavin & Bone Spavin

Despite having similar names, bog spavin and bone spavin refer to two separate conditions that can both affect a horse’s hocks. BOG SPAVIN You have a young horse that has been doing well in his training and you are gradually ramping up the speed and intensity of his workouts. When you groom him one afternoon, you notice a large soft swelling on one hock. You walk him around the yard and longe him. He doesn’t seem lame, but the swelling worries you. What It Is: Bog spavin is a swelling of the upper joint – called the tarsocrural joint and also known as the tibiotarsal joint – of the hock, caused by some of the synovial fluid that normally fills the joint space leaking out into the surrounding tissue. “It is more commonly seen in younger horses, and there may be an exercise-related component,” explained Dr. David G. Wilson, DVM,…

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