Special Report: Medical Management of Kissing Spines


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How shock wave therapy, mesotherapy, and ongoing maintenance helped a young event horse return to performance.

The team of performance horse practitioners at Virginia Equine Imaging, in The Plains, sees more than their fair share of back pain cases. Practice owner Kent Allen, DVM, Cert. ISELP, estimates one-third of his cases are horses with back problems coming in for second opinions.

“These cases can be difficult,” he says. “They’ll come in some- times with a history of bucking their riders off or having significant performance and avoidance issues.”

A textbook example of one of these patients arrived at the clinic in July 2020. The 5-year-old gelding’s rider, who was preparing him for an eventing career, reported he’d recently become back sore under saddle.

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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