7 year OTTB off the track 3 years now, dressage scores in the 20’s, no issues that I can tell. Doing a PPE and have never included neck rads. What say ye?
Always. Tbs have the cervical neck deformity.
What levels would you do?
On a TB, I did the poll to check for gate injuries, and C5, C6 and C7 to check for the deformity.
Ordered neck/wither/back rads.
I hope the results are good. I lot of get snippy about “you don’t ride the rads” but horses are expensive. Understanding what could potentially be an issue down the road lets you make an informed decision with your risk tolerance in mind.
Also, this is a valuable area to have as a baseline for all of your ownership.
And whether they’re clean now or not (Assuming it doesn’t affect the horse and you buy it anyway, like back rads) it can be a VERY impactful area to track bony changes in a sport horse.
ALL mine have had these done since I started my job.
I’m running into a bit of kissing spine in some I’m looking at I don’t want to deal with.
Yes. I did them on the horse I bought last year. However, the reason I was horse shopping because I had to retire a mare at age 9 due to cervical arthritis. So clearly, I did not want to go through that experience again.
C-6 and C-7 in particular. Look for studies by Pamela Ecklebarger on ECVM.
A buddy of mine has had 4 PPE’s come up with spine problems in 3-5 year old youngsters. Do them.
Update: This horse flexed 2/5 so we never got around to rads. The search continues.
I do neck rads on everything. I’m less inclined to do the spine as growing babies can have close spinal processes and it’s gone by the next year- I know of numerous horses who had “mild” kissing spines or close processes on one set of x-rays and it’s gone once they finish growing or spend time being ridden correctly. Unfortunately most people’s idea of correctly is not very good.
I would not unless there were a reason for suspicion.
I know this is posted after the fact for the OP, but I was little surprised at the resounding “yes” vote on here, and had to include my vote for posterity.
Same. But I’m the minority that doesn’t generally PPE and believes you can’t ride the x-rays. That said, I don’t generally give myself a healthy budget and I have the luxury of retiring my horses at home should it be necessary so that also influences my decision.
I work in human spine. The concept that radiographs in horses could define neurogenic issues just from a structural point of view smacks of a clinical money grab.
We see humans having transitional anatomies in almost 30% of all normal spines (added or subtracted vertebra), patients with almost compete complete cord stenosis who are totally healthy and folks with no cord signal on the MRI who have cauda equina. Add that the literature clearly states that spine procedures really are effective for only 2-5 years before continued degradation.
To me, spine imaging in a horse is about as good as flexions in determining long term health and capability in a horse. So, NO I don’t waste money on that in a PPE. I ride the horse, not the rads. If the horse is sound, the rads don’t really tell a story.
Do you not feel that flexions tell a story of how a horse is handling it’s current work load? I get concerned with a horse that doesn’t pass flexions going novice and my goal is prelim.
I understand what you are saying but when you are looking at anything other than a mature campaigner, flexions are really not indicative of anything other than a diagnostic of an immediate lameness. They aren’t going to tell you much else.
In green and immature horses, they are going to be lame almost everyday as their musculature and bone grow and develop.
I have yet to see any true study that defines the normal spine in horses. I mean a study that looks at thousands of horses as they develop over the years such that at each time period we can say here are the measurements that define a normal spine.
In humans we are just doing it. AAOS just this year established a spine registry where this data will reside. I can’t imagine that vets have already done this give that in humans it is millions of dollars of work.
In our hospital we have every spine patient get bilateral standing x-rays to start to build our section of the spine registry. Roussley in France did a bit but his measurements are self defining so it doesn’t really work.
I had a horse that I bought that “Failed” 3 out of 4 legs on his flexions. I bought him anyway.
3 years later when I sold him, his flexions were nearly perfect. And certainly NOWHERE near the level of reaction as when I bought him.
It’s a moment in time and from what my co workers have told me, almost never a correlation to future ability.