Article Text

Equine Practice
Differential diagnosis of a swollen hock in the horse
  1. Peter Clegg

    Peter Clegg graduated from Cambridge in 1987. Following four years in equine practice, he undertook a three-year residency in equine surgery at the Royal Veterinary College. He currently combines clinical and research responsibilities at both the University of Liverpool, where he is a senior lecturer in equine orthopaedics, and the University of Manchester, where he is a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. He holds a PhD in cartilage biochemistry and is an RCVS specialist in equine surgery.


THE tarsus is an extremely complex articulation that is a frequent site of pathology in the horse. Within the tarsus, there is an intricate relationship between the synovial structures, bones, ligaments and tendons, all of which are often involved in pathological processes. It is essential that the anatomical structure(s) and significance of any swelling of the tarsus are correctly identified during clinical examination of the lame horse. This article describes various conditions which might cause a swollen hock in the horse.

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