9 responses to “Bone chips: a Q&A with Dr. Lawrence Bramlage”

  1. Karleigh bykewich

    Karleigh bykewich I have a comment my mare cherry banged her knee in the trailer on our way to a trail ride we thought nothing of it and I rode her hard everyday unless I felt heat in her knee that was three or four maybe fife years ago now she has had her ups and downs but it like when the e weather us bad and cherry stays still she stiffens up but when she moves like the minus forty weather we had here in Olds alberta canada she was with another mare and she was making this other mare run around cherry is the Dominant mare of the two cherry can turn left and right in small circles no problem but a bug circle clime a barrel cut I was barrel racing her before not competitively just doing a fast lope and the come from the third barrel home i have not ridden her lately with a saddle cut my cousin says it will hurt her one vet who came to look at cherry said she’s not that bad and tried giving her a steroid but it didn’t help I also asked my other cousin whines a vet about it but again he has not seen cherry I’ve only told him what has happened he said I don’t see why u can’t just breed her the way she is I would breed her but my cousin thinks it’s would be mean but anyway I was wondering u there was anything an body could tell me to help me I phoned Moore equine I Calgary Alberta canada and they said maybe that they could use remove the chip and let it grow back in on its own but I just want a second opinion.

  2. jane turner

    hi I have a 5 yr old that has a bone chip below hock joint his leg has a huge swelling similar to a blood clot swelling but he is not lame and no restricted movement the vet said leave the chip n rest for 3 months what would you recommend please

  3. David Champ

    I used to take a hose and wash down the knee of my trotting mare
    worked at the racetrack we used to use all kinds of ways one was to rub sweat into the knee and cover it with plastid( not too tight
    of course) another way was to paint the knee and cover it with a wrap so the circulation will increase it and thus heal it you can buy all kinds of leg paints depending on what the vet recommends

  4. martin

    my 3 year old gelding came up with a small chip my question is whats best to do turn him out are blister him and stall him to keep him from running out and hurting him more

  5. Andreasoldier

    Hi Susan,
    Found this interesting. I believe conformation has a lot to with chips, especially knees. My 13-year-old OTTB has very flat knees with cannons slightly offset to the outside. He chipped at 2 while racing, had the chip removed, and then chipped again in his last breeze before his first race back at 3. I bought him at 4.5 knowing about the chip (my vet said it was nondisplaced). I had no problems until he was 11, when all of a sudden he took a funny step and wouldn’t put the foot on the ground — I thought it was the abcess. It turned out to be the chip or maybe a new one – Tufts removed a smaller one and the original and smoothed out his joint. That was in 2009. We’re back to regular dressage work; I had planned to do some low-level eventing and start him over fences, but because of his history, but especially conformation, I’m sticking to logs on the trail! He’s also 17 hands, and with OTTBs the bigger they are and more they raced, the more soundness issues I’ve had.

  6. Louise Ferro Martin

    Thank you Susan for the interesting article on bone chips. As you know, my having a 28 yr old OTTB mare, peeks my interest when there is information regarding the health and welfare of the horse. Also, with my own back problems and potential knee problems as well, it helps with the understanding of care and maintenance of me and my horse. I firmly believe in proper nutrition and exercise that coincides with their age, confirmation, etc. I am sorry to see that Kate experienced two truly bad happenings with her horses! As you say, they are so fragile. It is wonderful to see what is being accomplished now and this can only be better for the breed in the years to come.

    I am so looking forward to you series. The up and coming article on maintaining weight will certainly prove very interesting. It has always been a problem that not only had my horse experienced but several other horses that I have known have had. Thank you again, Susan!

  7. Kate

    I have heard that there was a study done on racehorses – and no, unfortunately I don’t have a reference to cite – that indicated that horses with prior bone chips were significantly more likely to have a subsequent catastrophic fracture. The theory being that bone chips indicated a structural weakness in the bones – whether due to genetics, diet or training. This is of interest to me – I had a TB mare (not raced) who had a bone chip in her knee (she was sound and I bought her after the bone chip occurred) who within the next year (at age 10) suffered a catastrophic multiple slab fracture of the P1 bone while running in turnout – the bone basically disintegrated into 9 pieces. Her full sister (who was 8) subsequently suffered a catastrophic fracture of the shoulder. The vet theorized that something like osteopenia may have been involved – either due to genetics or diet. Since then I have strictly avoided buying any horse with prior chips. It would be interesting to learn what the current thinking is on this.

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