Support for Equine Ligament Injury

I rescued a horse about one month ago, later to find that he has a degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis injury from racing. The original owner did not take care of the injury and the horse was underweight approximately 400 – 500 pounds. I am slowly putting the weight back on him with little problems, but have included an MSM supplement to accompany his ration for his injury. My concern is there anything I can do for this horse so that he can be started back in light riding in approximately six to 10 months?
–Beth

Dear Beth,

I assume you’re working with a veterinarian to diagnose the extent of this injury, follow its healing, and develop a plan of physical therapy. That’s really the best way to assess if your horse will be ready for riding in the time frame you mention.

Adding MSM to his diet is a good idea because of the effects on pain and inflammation that research shows it provides. You may want to choose a supplement that also includes silica and collagen, since a growing body of evidence provides rationale for the use of these two ingredients to specifically support the healing of connective tissue.

Lydia F. Gray, DVM MA, currently serves as the Medical Director/Staff Veterinarian for SmartPak Equine. Prior to joining SmartPak, Dr. Gray served as the first-ever Director of Owner Education for the American Association of Equine Practitioners. She has authored numerous articles in publications such as The Horse, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman and a variety of veterinary journals and magazines. Dr. Gray is also a frequent speaker at horse expos, veterinary conventions and other locations. After graduating with honors from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and receiving her Master's Degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, she practiced at the Tremont Veterinary Clinic for several years. Dr Gray is active in the American Veterinary Medical Association and Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and enjoys training and showing her trakehner Newman in her spare time.  Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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