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kissing spine no reaction
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kissing spine inflammation pain
Many working horses have some degree of kissing spines without exhibiting back pain or compromised performance. What can be done if your horse has been diagnosed with kissing spines?
Kissing spines, an impingement of the dorsal spinous processes, may be a major component in sore backs in horses. The condition is defined by the tops of the bones of the spinal column being too close together. It is usually considered a congenital problem, meaning it has been there since the birth of your horse.
Diagnosis requires x-rays of the spine, which may be inconclusive. Radiology usually requires 2 views be taken; this is difficult in the case of the horse.
The condition has varying degrees both radiologically and clinically. Picture 1 shows a horse with vertebral spines that are close but don’t seem to be undergoing much change that would indicate inflammation. Picture 2 shows vertebrae that are undergoing some changes due to inflammation. This horse probably exhibits back pain.
So what can be done if your horse has been diagnosed with kissing spines?
• Chiropractic care will help maintain as much movement in the joints between the kissing spines as possible.
• Joint supplements should help decrease inflammation.
• Cold laser and alpha stim, neither of which should heat the tissue, will help decrease pain.
• All-natural cooling liniments may be used even under the saddle to help decrease pain.
• Physical therapy, including neck stretching up and down, will help increase the flexibility in the back all the way to the lumbosacral junction.
Unless there are severe radiographic changes, you should still be able to ride your horse. Saddle fit becomes of utmost importance. You must make sure the gullet of your saddle is both tall and wide enough to ensure there is no weight on the spinous process of the vertebrae.
Treatment and prognosis require accurate diagnosis, whether you plan to use alternative or traditional methods of treatment.
Dr. Bill Ormston graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1988. After attending Options for Animals in 1998, he received certification from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and began using chiropractic to treat his animal patients. Jubilee Animal Health is a mobile mixed animal practice in the Dallas Metroplex area, using mostly alternative methods. Dr. Ormston is one of the founding instructors of the post-graduate course in Animal Chiropractic at Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas. He has lectured nationally and internationally on Animal Chiropractic and biomechanics, and gait analysis in the quadruped. Bill and his three teenagers, Riley, Philip and Jessica, live in Celina, TX, with 2 dogs and 4 cats.