Inside Arthritis & Joint Health
A 1999 study published in the Equine Veterinary Journal identified arthritic changes in a herd of wild mustangs, which led the researchers to conclude that arthritis was a natural part of the aging process in horses. In essence, this means that it’s not just horses in heavy work that are at risk—all horses are at risk for developing arthritis, even those in light work or no work at all. While all horses are susceptible to developing arthritis, there are some factors that can increase your horse’s risk, including consistent stress from riding, acute injury, and poor conformation. Senior horses are also more likely to show arthritic changes. While there is no sure-fire way of preventing arthritis altogether, there are steps you can take to help keep your horse going strong for as long as possible.
Adequan® is the only FDA-approved, disease-modifying drug for the treatment of degenerative joint disease. It contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG), which travels into injured joints and stimulates new cartilage production, while also relieving signs of arthritis. Adequan is available in both IM and IA form.
Legend® Injectable Solution provides hyaluronate sodium for IV or IA injection, and is FDA-approved for the treatment of joint dysfunction of the knee or fetlock due to non-infectious synovitis associated with arthritis in horses.
For the management of arthritis, your veterinarian may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (bute), Equioxx® Oral Paste, or Surpass® Topical Cream.
Chondroitin sulfate: Stimulates production of hyaluronic acid and proteoglycans; inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage.
Hyaluronic acid (HA): Integral component of joint fluid and articular cartilage; provides lubrication and shock absorption.
MSM: Highly bioavailable form of sulfur for building and repairing cartilage; helps support a normal inflammatory response.
Vitamin C: A potent antioxidant, vitamin C protects tissues throughout the body and is vital in the production of connective tissues, including cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
Devil’s claw & yucca: Herbs used extensively to fight discomfort in joints and other tissues and support a normal inflammatory response.
Super oxide dismutase (SOD): The body’s most effective antioxidant. SOD is the first line of defense against free radicals that can damage the cells in joint structures.
†Rodgers MR, Intern J Appl Res VeterinarianMed. 2006;4(2):155-62
SmartPak strongly encourages you to consult your veterinarian regarding specific questions about your horse's health. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, and is purely educational.