Bone Scan

First off – thank you to all of you that commented or messaged me yesterday. I really really appreciated it.

Late yesterday afternoon my vet gave me a call to discuss the findings of Annie’s bone scan. On the bright side it doesn’t look like we will be scheduling surgery. In fact the bone scan didn’t even highlight the areas that showed kissing spine. There were some other areas of concern though.

Annie tested positive (or lit up during the scan) in 3 areas. The two areas of primary concern were her neck (C5-7) and then her left hock – probably an associated reaction. Her left front also lit up a bit but the vet was not especially concerned by that. Armed with this knowledge we discussed a game plan for the red dragon.

Given that Annie’s back did not light up during the scan my vet wants to focus first on her neck and hocks. We will be injecting her both sides of her neck and her hocks (Steroid & HA). In addition she will be given a dose of Osphos. I am a little be hesitant about the Osphos injection but I trust my vet and want to give Annie the best chance at being comfortable. On top of all of that we will further set my wallet on fire with a loading dose and maintenance support with Adequan.  

The spending of literally all of my money should be complete by the afternoon at which time I can pick up my trailer and drive the dragon home. She will be on stall rest for 3 days and not back under saddle for 10 days. At that point it will be only light work to keep her sane and to slowly get her back into the swing of things for about a month. Hopefully as we bring her back into work she will be comfortable and sound. If she isn’t it is back to the drawing board.

At this point I am still going to be doing research on kissing spine and will probably consult a few different DVM’s that have treated kissing spines extensively to get their read on her scans/rads. I want to be prepared if we have to go forward with other treatments if we have to. Arming myself with all of the information I can find seems like a good place to start!

You may also like


  1. That’s great news! Sounds like your vet is pretty sure she’s just dealing with the regular wear and tear of life.

    Was she ever really unsound? I feel like I missed something.

    1. Nope she was never actually unsound but her behavior undersaddle kept nagging at me that something was hurting her. We decided to X-ray, found the KS and the vet wanted a bone scan before we tried to explore surgical options. Thankfully surgery doesn’t seem to be needed.

  2. Yay for no surgery immediately! A couple of gals at my barn have had really really good results with Osphos. Hoping it helps the red dragon too!

  3. oh wow that’s fantastic about the scan tho!! i feel like i’ve read that it’s really common for thoroughbreds to have some closeness in the spine – that you could find something that looks like ‘kissing spine’ in most TBs, but that it’s not really a problem unless it’s a problem. absolutely zero science backing that up tho haha.

    hopefully with the fresh feel good juice in those spots, she’ll be ready to roll!

  4. Sounds like pretty good news, all things considered. I have Miles on Osphos for preventative measures — that combined with a minor showing change has made all the difference for him!

  5. Yay for no surgery!! Hopefully the good stuff helps smooth out any pain spots and your dragon will be 150% soon 🙂

  6. Glad to hear the bone scan for her back went well. Interesting about the Osphos, a vet recently recommended it for a horse in our barn and I went hmm there too. But I am not a vet so *shrug*. Hope everything goes well!

  7. I haven’t had any experience with KS before, so I’m not familiar with Osphos. What’s it supposed to do? And YAY for no surgery!!!

    1. Osphos was originally intended for horse with navicular. From my understanding its like the meds that they give to humans with osteoporosis.

      Direct from Osphos:”The main effect of a bisphosphonate is to decrease bone resorption.

      Bisphosphonates act to inhibit bone resorption by decreasing the number and activity of osteoclasts by inducing apoptosis, or cell death. During bone stress or disease, bone metabolism is accelerated and osteoclasts are stimulated to begin the remodeling cycle. Osteoblasts follow behind the bone-eating cells, but at a much slower pace.

      Accelerated bone resorption may exceed the bone rebuilding process during these times of chronic bone disease or stress, including navicular syndrome.”

      1. So is the goal to inject it where she’s touching so that it prevents further bone growth?

  8. The bone scan was actually a pretty frustrating experience for me with Foster, but I’m glad you got good info from it!

  9. Sounds like good news! We just gave Badger some Osphos with no troubles. I too was apprehensive especially since he’s young.
    These findings seem in line with my vets’ opinions about thoroughbreds and kissing spine. Most of them have it, and often it’s not problematic for them. Hopefully that will remain the case for Annie.
    We’ve been doing pentosan for Jamp instead of Adequan which I’ve seen a difference with (plus it’s a bit cheaper). I mean, trust your vet! But it’s there if you wanted another option.
    I hope her recovery goes smoothly (and quickly) for you!

  10. Sounds like you and your vet are throwing all you got at her- which is what I would want to do if it was my boy too! If you need to use Adequan long term I would personally consider one of the generic forms for money reasons. Many claim they can work just as well, and I have had many vets that are comfortable prescribing alternatives to try. Something to think about, as I can even imagine what all of this costing you! Anything for our babies though!

  11. I have heard really good things about Polyglycan (opposed to adequan), that it is really effective and much cheaper than Adequan. Just a thought if she will need this long term, might help save some $$.

    I also read an article recently about the C5-C7 vertebrae, it was really interesting. Not sure if it applies but might be worth the read.

    1. I’ve used Poly in the past actually. We’re loading with a compounded version to cut costs. My vet feels that the adequan is superior and is pushing that for the regular shots though so we’ll see. I need to price everything out. 🙂