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 Possible Purchase of horse w/ knee bone chip
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2 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  02:08:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit JennLM's Homepage Send JennLM a Private Message
My husband and I fell for a horse only to find out that he has a bone chip in his knee. Current owners said surgery was too dangerous.

Should we just move on?

The horse is not lame but can only do flat work. (which is fine with us)

I guess I worry about in a month or year or a few years down the road. Will arthritis set in early? He is only 8 now.

Can anyone give me the pros and cons of surgery and purchasing such a horse.

We are on the fence with this and could use some good advice from people who have gone through it or can offer up advice.

Thank you.

Trail Boss (Moderator)

6117 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  05:14:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Welcome to the forum.

If you are really interested in the horse have a vet you trust Xray the knee and give you an opinion. Then make your decision. Without further information it is impossible to tell.

You do not want an unsound horse.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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2 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  08:43:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit JennLM's Homepage Send JennLM a Private Message
Thank you for the welcome.

The horse is not located anywhere close. He is not being sold for alot and the people who have him are pretty well off and they have been more then honest.

Such a hard decision. Crossing my fingers someone here has experience with it.
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3211 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  08:48:51 AM  Show Profile Send appygirl a Private Message
Welcome to the Board, Jenn. As Hook suggested I would have a vet look at him and get his recommendation. In my opinion, I believe the bone chip will cause arthritic problems down the road. But don't base anything final until a professional takes a look at it.


Man does not have the only memory,
The animals remember,
The earth remembers,
The stones remember,
If you know how to listen, they will tell you many things.
- Claude Kuwanijuma - Hopi Spiritual leader

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Beginning Rider

72 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  09:29:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Boots's Homepage Send Boots a Private Message
Yup, have him vetted. Why do the sellers have him priced low? The only horse I'd MAYBE, MAYBE consider with a bone chip in the knee, is an outstanding broodmare...and I mean OUTstanding.

I agree, arthritis would be a real concern. Also, what if you consider selling him down the road? How saleable would he be?


Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn. Ben Franklin
Truth is not determined by a majority vote.
- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
(Now Pope Benedict XVI)

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Red Hawk

5092 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  10:39:56 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I'm no expert, and this may be way off base, but is it possible for this bone chip to move and get wedged in somewhere else where it could really lame up this horse for life? Anybody know if this is could happen?

Jenn, I'd really hate to see you end up with just a pasture ornament if you are looking for a horse to ride. If something like I just described could happen, I think I'd pass this one by and keep looking... and please remember that I'm guessing on this, since I've no experience with a situation of this type.

I put my vote in with everyone else, and have a vet do a prepurchase exam before buying him. It could save you a whole lot of heart ache down the road.

And welcome to .

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown

Edited by - Red Hawk on 02/28/2006 10:41:52 AM
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2132 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  6:46:46 PM  Show Profile Send Horsecrazygirl a Private Message
Howdy! Welcome to the Board Jenn!
I agree with the rest of the members here.
Good luck on your decision!

"In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart."

"The horse, gives you the freedom from all life's challenges." H.Z.

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1630 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  6:52:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Yep, vet check but have a different vet then the one they use do the vet check. Also have them contact the vets that they have used on this horse for this case and release his information to you. That way you can call them up and talk to him/them about it and see why they think that removing it is not an opition. If they have nothing to hide then they shouldn't have a problem with it. I have done this in the past. I had a mare that broke her nose. It took awhile to figure out just what happened and clear up an sec. infection. When I put her up for sale a number of years later I called up the vet and told him about it. He said that all I had to do was contact him with the number and name and if they wanted to call he would tell them the samethings he told me. Because of the way he has his release the only things he could talk to a buyer about was what I released.
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1083 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2006 :  8:27:24 PM  Show Profile Send sbower a Private Message

Bone chips are really rather common. Some studies show one in five (20%) of all horses have them. Chips seldom totally separate or become free in the joint, usually they are pretty quickly surrounded by scar tissue. Depending on where they are cause very little problem or can cause various degrees of pain and lameness. Chips that lodge in high motion areaa (like knees) are more of a problem because the chip often fails to be surrounded by scar tissue(or the scar tissue periodically wears away... The more active the horse typically the more problems.

In answer to RH's question the chip doesn't move (usually) or cause further fracture but they often cause stress/tendonitis as the horse compensates for the pain. There is definitely a correlation between chips and eventual osteoarthritis. If the horse has any signs of swelling/inflammation then you can be pretty sure that surgery is going to be necessary as the joint will continue to deteriorate.

Is surgery inevitable? Well, some chips don't cause problems and can be ignored, some can be managed with joint therapy/supplements and/or steroids. Some vets will tell you that ALL chips need to be removed ASAP with arthroscopic surgery because osteoarthritis cannot be reversed. Others will do a wait and see. Surgery isn't particularily dangerous, but it will cost around $2000 (and up) and sometimes the scar tissue from the surgery causes problems too!! Definitely not a clear cut decision, sorry

So, I agree a vet's opinion should be sought and definitely at the minimum, get a set of xrays... but MAYBE the best indication of what is in the future might be to look at how the horse performs now. For example, if the horse is currently performing without any problems at the same level that you intend to use him at.... then maybe you'll be okay. This assumes the injury is not new but an old one, otherwise you have no idea how the healing will go. Clear as mud I know!

While I am a pragmatic person (and some people aren't going to agree with me), I do believe that if you willingly decide to buy a horse with a known problem then you should be able to afford the care that that problem might cause. If you can't afford the surgery I wouldn't buy the horse because I can tell you that you WILL become emotionally invested in this horse and some people find the decision of "money vs love of an animal" a very difficult one to make. My sister is a vet and it's heartbreaking to see people spend their nest eggs to save their pets. If money is a hardship, it would be much easier for you to walk away now. On the other hand, if you can afford it then go for it!

_(( // ====

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