Ask the Vet – DSLD, bone vs bog spavin, cellulitis, and more! – BONUS EPISODE with Dr Andy Kaneps

SARAH: Hi, SmartPak fans. Welcome back to SmartPak’s
Ask the Vet video series. Normally, I’m accompanied
by Dr. Lydia Gray, our Staff Veterinarian and
Medical Director. But today, we have a
special bonus episode with a very special
guest, Dr. Andy Kaneps of Kaneps Equine, which
is a practice specializing in equine sports medicine. At SmartPak we’ve
been lucky enough to work with Dr. Kaneps on
a few projects including our SmartFlex IV research study,
which we were very proud of and you can find the
results through a link in the description
on this video. And thank you so much, Dr.
Kaneps for joining us today. DR ANDY KANEPS: It’s
good to be here. Thank you. SARAH: We’re very
happy to have you. And we’ve gone through
the archives of questions back to January 2016 and
picked some questions that Dr. Kaneps is uniquely
qualified to answer, which would actually be all of them. But we did want
to handpick a few that with the
specialization in sports medicine would be really
applicable for you to come in and help our viewers out. So without further ado, let’s
jump into the first question. This one is submitted
by A Puhala on YouTube. And they’re wondering,
“I have a horse that has been put on a
month of stall rest due to a strained deep digital
tendon in his hind leg. While his vet is
allowing for hand-walking on solid, flat ground,
I was wondering if there are any additional
exercises that we can do in his stall to keep
him engaged and limber?” DR ANDY KANEPS: The
most important aspect of healing of soft
tissue injuries is controlled exercise. And that control is important
so that we don’t over stress the soft tissues
that have been injured. Some stress is very
important because without it, for example, if we had
a horse in bed rest, tendons or ligaments
wouldn’t heal correctly, they need some degree of stress,
such as walking, or standing, or other exercises
that we’ll discuss to strengthen those tissues
and align the fibers. You think of soft
tissue injuries like you would with a rope. And a rope is very
organized with the strands of the rope making up the
strength of that structure. In a soft tissue injury, some
of the strands, in this case, the tendon fibers burst,
and there’s hemorrhage. The hemorrhage just fills
the gaps between those burst strands and then starts to heal. But the healing is in
various orientations, not organized at all, until you
put stress on the structure. Additional exercises,
other than hand-walking, would include things like
moving from a firm surface to a softer surface,
say from a hard pack to depth of three
to four inches. That will put some additional
stress on the structures. But usually, before we get in
the saddle and start riding at the walk, all
we’ll do to increase exercise is increase the length
of time the horse is walked. SARAH: So not necessarily
more diversity in terms of in-stall
activities, but just a gradual increase in the
duration of the walking and then the type
of walking, like you said with the surfaces. DR ANDY KANEPS:
That’s exactly right. SARAH: And so working with
her vet, and sounds like she’s on the hard flat part right now,
and maybe more depth or more time will be coming later. DR ANDY KANEPS:
Yes, that’s correct. SARAH: All right. Well, good luck, and we know
stall rest can be tough. So hang in there, and you’ll
be back in it in no time. Our next question is by CinBen
also submitted on YouTube. And they’re wondering “What can
you tell me about Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Disease? Most particularly what
activities, if any, should we avoid?” DR ANDY KANEPS: Degenerative
Suspensory Ligament Disease is a really destructive process. It’s challenging because
there’s no specific cure. Once the ligament starts
to essentially fall apart, and by fall
apart what I mean is that the chemical
links between the fibers of the ligament are not as
strong as they need to be, and essentially the
ligament stretches out. So you see the clinical sign of
Degenerative Suspensory Disease most frequently as a
drop of the fetlock. SARAH: And so thinking
of the rope example in the last question, like
the strands are getting– they’re losing their
strength sort of. DR ANDY KANEPS:
Losing their strength, yeah, and stretching out. They can’t support the
weight of the horse normally. There is no specific
cure, like I said. We can help by modifying
the biomechanics of the limb with an extended heel shoe. So that decreases the stress
on the structures of the leg. But there’s a restriction
of this horse based on the amount of
degenerative change you have and the comfort
level of the horse. Certainly, things like
real active riding on rough ground, up and down
hills, and that sort of thing may not be in the
horse’s best interest. SARAH: So kind of
the exact opposite, as we talked about with
the last question, where you want to gradually
increase the stress. Here you want to be avoiding
any kind of injuries and stress. DR ANDY KANEPS: That’s correct. SARAH: OK. Well, good luck. Our next question
is dressagegirl101 asked on Instagram. And she’s wondering, “What’s the
difference between bone spavin and bog spavin? How do each affect the
horse, and how can they be prevented or treated?” DR ANDY KANEPS: Both of those
items, bone spavin and bog spavin, involve the hock. Bone spavin involves
the joints and the bone, and it’s usually osteoarthritis. And osteoarthritis is a
degenerative condition of the cartilage and
bone that results in proliferation of new
bone in the horse’s attempt to fuse the joint. Bog spavin is extra fluid in
the upper joints of the hock. And that can be also
associated with osteoarthritis or inflammation for another
cause in that joint. Bog spavin may also be present
in the cases in a young horse of OCD or osteochondrosis. There, taking radiographs and
finding the specific diagnosis will help identify
the cause of that. Treatment of those conditions
would be for the bone spavin as you would any osteoarthritis. Non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes topical
anti-inflammatories. And in some situations,
joint injections. SARAH: And is there
anything anyone can do it like a preventative
measure for either condition? DR ANDY KANEPS: Maintaining good
body condition of the horse. Strength. Good muscle tone is
very, very important. Good shoeing. Also working your
horse on good footing. Rather than a rock hard
ring, have something with nice cushion to it. Those factors are the most
important parts of prevention. Supportive things that
may help, but it’s not research-supported,
are items like the oral joint supplements,
medications that may be injected in the muscle
or in the joint may help limit the progression
of osteoarthritis once it is there. SARAH: I think a
lot of horse owners, it’s really common for them to
think of it as an acute problem because it’s a problem
you find in one area. And so they think, oh there’s
something wrong with his hock. But to your point, it’s
really about thinking about the whole horse and how
his whole life is affecting the things that led
up to that problem. And so that’s the body
condition, how you’re shoeing, how you’re
riding, all of those things are where these types of
problems can come from. DR ANDY KANEPS:
That’s very true. I mean it’s wear
and tear, and it’s going to happen to different
degrees in most horses. It’s doing the best you can
to give the horse the best type of life. SARAH: Yeah, set
him up for success. DR ANDY KANEPS: Yes,
set him up for success. SARAH: All right. Our next question is from
Dallas6101 also on YouTube. And Dallas is wondering,
“What is cellulitis and how can it be treated? I recently almost adopted
a 10-year old thoroughbred gelding who has cellulitis
in his right hind. He flared up last fall and
despite the best efforts of his trainer who
used antibiotics and other forms of treatment
the swelling never went down. Is there anything
that can be done to treat chronic cellulitis?” So what is it? What can we do about it? DR ANDY KANEPS: Cellulitis
is a challenging condition in horses. And what it is is
an abnormal amount of trapped fluid under the skin. Often times that’s
associated with an infection. But usually, even when we look
for a site of the infection, we don’t find it. We look for wounds
and that sort of thing but rarely do we find
an inciting cause. It’s a vicious cycle because
infection and inflammation starts under the skin then
damages the circulation, both the lymphatic circulation
and the vascular vessel circulation. And the body can’t
clear that fluid. First steps are
treating the infection, just as the
individual suggested, the veterinarian put the
horse on antibiotics. That’s common practice. Then the working
as vigorously as we can to reduce the inflammation
as early as possible is important to prevent
this chronic damage to the circulatory system. Once that chronic
damage has occurred, recurrence, such as again
was mentioned, of cellulitis is not uncommon at all. And oftentimes, even once
the condition is as quiet as it’s going to be, the
limb will remain larger than the normal limb. SARAH: It’s almost like
with the suspensory or the suspensory ligament
we were talking about before where it loses that elasticity. It loses the ability
to go back to normal. And so that sounds like
with that chronic recurrence that’s what you’re seeing. DR ANDY KANEPS:
That’s exactly right. SARAH: OK. Our last question submitted
by Cameron and this one came from Facebook. And Cameron is
wondering, “What should I do if I have an
accident prone horse who constantly hurts herself?” I think we’ve all known a few
of these horses in our lives. Keeps you busy for sure. DR ANDY KANEPS:
An accident prone horse is definitely
frustrating, both from– I’m sure the horse is
frustrated with it as well, I mean not just us. But you have to try to
identify why the horse is running into these accidents. I mean it’s one thing
to have– if you have a single strand of the
electric fence for the paddock and the horse gets
tangled up in it. That’s obviously too obvious. But you do want
to set the horse, as you mentioned earlier,
set the horse up for success. Make sure that the environment
is as safe as it can be. Make sure the horse is
understanding its environment especially on things like,
if you’re on a trail ride and the horse has never gone
down a steep rocky slope and crossing water,
you want to make sure that you don’t throw that
whole challenge at the horse all at once. You might want to go down
a rocky slope alone first. You might want to cross
quiet water first. Don’t throw all the challenges
possible at the horse at one time. Stepwise understanding
of the needs that horse needs to accomplish. And stepwise training is
really important in helping prevent injuries. Beyond that, general
conditioning of the horse, making sure that,
again, no matter what the horse is used
for that the horse has the body condition,
cardiovascular strength, all of that to easily
accomplish its tasks. I can’t run the Boston Marathon,
at least not in this shape. Maybe in nine months I could
if I was trained correctly. Same thing for your horse. SARAH: Yeah. I think it, kind of going back
to the bog spavin and bone spavin, before where
we talked about, it’s all of the other
things that you’re doing that result in
those sorts of things. And I think it’s the
exact same thing here. You don’t necessarily
think of it the same way. You just think, oh, he’s stocked
up again, oh, he’s hurt again, but it’s because you did
something out of the ordinary. You did something he
wasn’t prepared for. We can challenge
our horses in ways that we don’t realize
is challenging. DR ANDY KANEPS:
That’s exactly right. SARAH: Well that is all
the questions we have. Thank you guys so much for
submitting fantastic questions. Dr. Kaneps, thank you for
visiting us here at SmartPak. DR ANDY KANEPS: Thank you. SARAH: We’re always
happy to have you. As you guys know, we are always
on the hunt for new questions to answer. So we’ll be taking
questions until May 11 for our next video. And if you ask your question on
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, on our blog,
in the comments, you can email
[email protected] use #askthevetvideo so we can track
down all those great questions. And if your question
was answered in this or a previous
video, you can email [email protected]
or direct message us on YouTube, and we’ll make
sure to get you squared away with your gift
card because people win for getting their questions
answered and voted to the top. So as always, thank
you guys for watching. Dr. Kaneps, thank you again for
sharing your expertise with us. Don’t forget to
subscribe, so you don’t miss a video
because you never know who could stop by SmartPak next. Have a great ride.

4 thoughts on “Ask the Vet – DSLD, bone vs bog spavin, cellulitis, and more! – BONUS EPISODE with Dr Andy Kaneps

  1. #askthevetvideo
    I recently got a mare that was in poor condition and has a few skin issues, she seems very sensitive and gets rashes easily. She´s gotten better since she came to my farm but her face and butt still have some bald patches that she keeps scratching. Someone told me that it might be due to her immune system not working well enough. How can I now if her immune system isn´t working right? what can I do to help her?

  2. #askthevetvideo I regularly use sport medicine boots on my horse to give him extra support and protect his legs. However, I was wondering if constant use of these boots could have any negative effects or prevent my horse from building necessary muscle or ligament/tendon strength. Additionally, are there any activities that these SMB's are ill suited for?

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