Friday, 11 March 2016

All About ... Capped Elbow or Hock

What is it?

This can happen to the elbow or hock and are inflammatory swellings of the bursa.  The bursa is a synovial fluid filled sac which sits between the tendon and an adjacent bone,  the sac prevents damage to the tendon as it moves over the bone.  A knock can cause damage to the bursa which will then lead to an increase in fluid in the sac - the swelling!  If this sac is then punctured  infection can be a problem.


  • A round, soft fluid filled swelling on the point of the elbow or hock 
  • Swelling may be sore initially 
  • The area is sometimes (but not always) hot 
  • Slight lameness


These are usually caused by a knock.  Capped Elbow is often due to the front feet or shoes hitting the elbow when the horse lies down.  Capped Hock's are often caused by a knock in the stable, trailer or horse box.  


The swellings are generally easy to identify.  A vet will use the horse's history and clinical signs to confirm.


Cold compresses or cold hosing will reduce the swelling and heat and help relieve any pain.  Rest.


Prevention is always better than cure.  Special 'sausage boots' can help to prevent the front shoes touching the elbow when the horse is lying down.  Using good high travelling boots will help prevent a knock to the hock in a trailer or horsebox.  Using rubber matting in the stable can help reduce any damage to the hock when the horse lies down and walls can be padded if necessary!  

Have you seen this week's video 'One day in March' on my You Tube channel.   
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Until next time!


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