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Friday, August 17, 2012

Kissing Spines!

The radiographs below are of the dorsal spinous processes of  the vertebral bodies in the top-line of a horse. Essentially, these bones are directly below the saddle and directly below the rider's center of gravity. As such, they represent some of the most stressed areas during riding under saddle. The first two radiographs are of the same horse and the yellow circles correspond to where the spinous processes are in contact with the each other. This is also know as "Kissing spines". This horse presented for a chronic history of a tender back and unwillingness to move forward at the trot and/or canter. The 3rd radiograph is that of a normal horse. There is significant space between the spinous processes. These spinous processes are slightly cranial to the ones depicted in the previous 2 radiographs.  Unfortunately, the diagnosis of kissing spines is not favorable for the horse to have a performance career without chronic back pain. There are therapies aimed at reducing the pain and muscle spasm associated with this condition which include; saddle fitting, shockwave therapy, mesotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, deep message, and cortisone injections. I strongly recommend having radiographs taken of any horse with a chronic history of back pain to determine if this might be the cause!! 

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! Good thing his people were smart enough to seek out vet help instead of just thinking he was lazy or bad.