How Much Do Hock Injections Cost?
A hock injection, also called joint injections, is something that is very commonly given to horses, especially show or race horses. The horse’s hock joint is very complex and is actually made up of four different joints. This hock joint is very similar to the ankle joint in humans. The horse can be affected by injuries in this joint such as arthritis and cartilage damage. Hock injections are performed on a horse to either localize a lameness diagnosed on a joint or to fight inflammation that may be affecting the horse’s joint. The medications used for joint injections depend on the diagnosis. The most common are hyaluronic acid (HA) such as Legend and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, or PSGAGs (Adequan). The overall price paid for this procedure varies from one practitioner to another but can be quite costly.
How much does it cost?
- On average, hock injections are going to cost anywhere from $75 to as much as $300 per injection site. Keep in mind that some horses may need more than one injection. The average horse owner claims that they typically pay anywhere from $600 to $1,000 for the entire procedure.
- According to Townsville Veterinary Clinic, injecting two joints with hyaluronic acid (HA) and triamcinalone (cortisone) would cost around $270.
- On the other hand, if you just want a vial of the medication to perform the injections yourself, most medicine will cost anywhere from $30 to $70 for a small 4-5mL vial. A multi-dose pack can retail for $300 to $500.
- For instance, at SmartPakEquine.com, one 5-mL vial of Adequan Equine costs $47.95, while seven 5-mL vials cost $319.95. A 50-mL multi-dose vial costs $383.95.
- Adequan Equine 500mg/5ml 7 x 5ml vials at 1-800-PetMeds retail for $379.99.
What is going to be included?
- Before the hock injections are done, the vet may take x-rays to pinpoint the exact joints that need to be treated. To relieve the pain, an injection will usually be made in the lower and middle joints. The amount of medicine used will depend on the age and condition of the horse.
- Once your veterinarian finds proof that your horse needs hock injections, you will need to obtain prescribed medications that come in varying quantities; these quantities and doses will be determined by your vet, but they usually depend on how many joints need to be injected. However, the procedure is typically done on an as-needed basis. When preparing to give the injections, the veterinarian will ensure adequate restraint and will perform proper hygienic steps to ensure a safe procedure.
What are the extra costs?
- If you are unable to transport your horse and need the vet to come to you, you will be charged for a farm call.
- In some cases, the horse may need sedation when receiving hock injections.
- The initial x-rays taken will cost extra, but you should only need these once.
- If you are going to perform the injections yourself, you will need to purchase supplies such as syringes and needles.
- Even with the hock injections, your horse may still be in need of pain medication.
- When consulting for lameness, you may be charged an additional $150 to $250 per visit, including minor medications. If the lameness workup is extensive, you may need to spend $750 – $1,000.
- Hock injections can help ease the pain, but they do not last forever. There is a good chance that you need to have these injections done at least once or twice a year.
Factors that influence the price:
- Composition of the medication. The cost of HA products for joint injection varies depending on the molecular weight of the product, with the heaviest being the most expensive.
- Number of affected joints. The numbers of joints that need to be injected with the medications plays a role in the overall price of getting hock injections. It may also influence the cost of vet services.
- Complexity of the procedure. The overall cost of getting hock injections for a horse can be costly because the procedure is time consuming and requires intensive labor.
Tips to know:
- Before scheduling your horse for hock injections, it is recommended that he undergoes a lameness exam to confirm the diagnosis. This should only be a one-time fee.
- Hock injections are to be done sparingly and only when absolutely necessary to avoid damaging the cartilage of the animal over time.
How can I save money?
- When buying hock injections online, look out for free shipping deals on minimum orders. Although you can do the injections on your own, it is highly recommended that you have a professional vet perform the procedure instead.
- Compare prices from one vet to another. Most are more than happy to provide you a quote over the phone.
- Get medical insurance. The more complicated the condition of the horse becomes, the more costly it may become. If you do not have a health insurance policy for your pet, consider companies such as 247PetWatch.com.