from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Bog spavin.
  • n. Bone spavin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disease of horses characterized by a bony swelling developed on the hock as the result of inflammation of the bones.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A disease of horses characterized by a bony swelling developed on the hock as the result of inflammation of the bones; also, the swelling itself. The resulting lameness is due to the inflammation, and not the bony tumor as popularly supposed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease of horses affecting the hock-joint, or joint of the hind leg between the knee and the fetlock. See bog-spavin, bloodspavin, bone-spavin.
  • n. In coal-mining, the clay underlying the coal. Also called under-clay, coal-clay, seat, seat-clay, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a swelling of the hock joint of a horse; resulting in lameness


Middle English spaven, from Old French espavain, swelling, perhaps of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • -- A spavin is a chronic inflammation of the articular faces of the hock bones, ligaments and synovial membranes.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

  • The above is recommended in outside callous, such as spavin, ringbone, curbs, windgalls, etc. etc.

    The Arabian Art of Taming and Training Wild and Vicious Horses

  • Just last Wednesday evening I was seeing to a horse over on Atlantic—a case of bog spavin—and as chance would have it, a fire broke out in one of the warehouses, and there he was, already on the scene, furiously scribbling notes.


  • Eesa and Girhi, who are all infantry: a village seldom contains more than six or eight, and the lowest value would be ten cows or twenty Tobes. 27 Careful of his beast when at rest, the Somali Bedouin in the saddle is rough and cruel: whatever beauty the animal may possess in youth, completely disappears before the fifth year, and few are without spavin, or sprained back-sinews.

    First footsteps in East Africa

  • The diseases which are found to be hereditary in horses are scrofula, rheumatism, rickets, chronic cough, roaring, ophthalmia or inflammation of the eye, -- grease or scratches, bone spavin, curb, &c.

    The Principles of Breeding or, Glimpses at the Physiological Laws involved in the Reproduction and Improvement of Domestic Animals

  • Horses three or four years of age if given work that favors hock strain, such as excavating cellars, may develop a spavin.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

  • A spavin is one of the unsoundnesses of horses that may be transmitted to the offspring.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

  • This condition involves the heavy gluteal muscles and may occur as a complication of azoturia, or a lameness of the hind limb that is usually due to a spavin.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals

  • Take of cantharides 2 oz., strong mercurial ointment 4 oz., oil of turpentine 4 oz., iodine 3 oz., mix all with a sufficiency of lard to make a thin ointment; apply to the spavin only once a day until it bursts; then oil it with sweet oil until healed.

    Young's Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets

  • A bony enlargement does not always accompany the lameness, and a spavin may be present without the horse going noticeably lame.

    Common Diseases of Farm Animals


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