Bog Spavin

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

What is it?

Bog spavin is a cosmetic blemish of the hock area that is similar in appearance to windpuffs and thoroughpin. Specifically,  fluid swelling of one of the joint capsules of the jock causes the hock joint to appear swollen. This swelling is not accompanied by heat or pain, and it does not usually cause lameness.

Who is at Risk?

Horses with osteochondrosis (OCD) are predisposed to developing bog spavin. In addition, poor hindlimb conformation, poor shoeing, poor trimming, poor footing, heavy training, or any trauma can also lead to bog spavin.

What can be done about it?

It’s always a good idea to have a veterinarian examine any changes in your horse, especially new swellings in the hock area. A lameness examination will most likely include imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound to determine the exact cause of the problem and extent of the damage. Your veterinarian may also perform a joint “tap,” where a needle is inserted into the joint to remove a small amount of fluid for examination.
Surgery may be necessary if bog spavin occurs as a result of an OCD chip or other OCD lesion.
In some situations, your vet may recommend joint injections or intramuscular or intravenous injections with prescription medications such as Adequan® or Legend® to help improve joint heath.

Why is prevention and management important?

While bog spavin is not the same thing as arthritis, many of the same activities and conformation flaws that lead to bog spavin may also lead to arthritis, tendinitis, and other lameness. For this reason, you may want to reevaluate certain aspects of your horse’s management, including trimming/shoeing, arena footing, conditioning program, and work schedule to help keep your horse healthy and happy, and avoid problems in the future. 
In addition to modifying some of your management practices, now may also be a good time to start your horse on a joint supplement. The right joint supplement can provide the building blocks of healthy joint tissue and fluid as well as  support normal inflammatory processes.

Top Supplements for Supporting Healthy Joints:

About Dr. Lydia Gray


Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Mollie and Eden
I started riding when I was 9 years old and quickly got swept up into the competitive hunter/jumper world. I showed my first pony, Chloe, in the Small Pony Hunter divisions were we competed at shows like Fairfield Hunt Club, Old Salem, HITS, and West...

Learn more »

SmartPak Barn Field Trip, Part 2: Decoding hay and grain for horses
Download the worksheet to test your knowledge! How much hay and grain does your horse get every day? How much SHOULD your horse be getting each day? Many horses may not be getting what your feed bag recommends, so we’re

Read More »

Download our mobile apps

Put SmartPak in your pocket with these awesome apps!

Check It Out »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-800-461-8898.

SmartPak Equine™ is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
© Copyright by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.