How to Treat Arthritis in Horses?

How to Treat Arthritis in Horses? For arthritis management, your veterinarian may also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (bute), Equioxx® oral paste, or Surpass® topical cream.

Can you ride a horse with arthritis? Many horses diagnosed with the early stages of arthritis can continue to safely carry riders on flat trails and perform other low impact activities, including some jumping. Those with advanced OA may not be able to handle more than participation with a silent companion.

How can I slow my horse’s osteoarthritis? Keep driving, if possible. Moderate exercise helps keep joints healthy by stimulating synovial fluid production and strengthening muscles that help stabilize joints. “We recommend light work as long as it’s in the horse’s comfort zone,” says Brosnahan.

How serious is arthritis in horses? In acute arthritis caused by infection (“septic” arthritis), there is usually severe inflammation, pain, and lameness. If not quickly brought under control, this condition can lead to severe destruction of the articular surfaces which can end a horse’s sporting career and may even require euthanasia for humane reasons.

How to Treat Arthritis in Horses – Related Questions

Should a horse suffering from osteoarthritis be trained?

“We know that horses with osteoarthritis benefit from regular movement and exercise,” Malinowski says. Therefore, “horse owners should exercise these horses as long as the animal is able to do so without obvious discomfort.”

What is the best treatment for arthritis in horses?

Adequan® is the only FDA-approved disease-modifying drug for the treatment of degenerative joint disease. It contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG), which moves into injured joints and stimulates the production of new cartilage, while relieving signs of arthritis. Adequan is available in IM and IA form.

How often should you ride with arthritis?

Eventually, 30 minutes of riding a day, 15 to 20 minutes of trotting and the rest at a walk will do wonders for the horse’s comfort. On the days when you can’t ride, you should at least try to make sure he gets through the pen or lunge time. Daily formal exercise is definitely the best.

Can arthritis be cured in horses?

1 There is no treatment or cure for arthritis. If you notice your horse feeling any discomfort (even discomfort that fades quickly), it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian. Your vet may be able to identify arthritis early and slow its progression with medications that reduce inflammation.

At what age do horses develop osteoarthritis?

Old age, age: 15 years or more. Signs of arthritis are very common in horses over 15 years of age. After a lifetime of work, even without strenuous exercise, it is almost inevitable that a horse’s joints will develop some degree of stiffness.

How to exercise a horse with osteoarthritis?


Often, light riding is possible, or even prescribed, for many older horses with arthritis. Keep walkways level, free of rocks or ruts, and as smooth as possible underfoot.

How to diagnose osteoarthritis in horses?

How is arthritis diagnosed? Your vet will observe your horse move on a hard surface and a soft surface, as well as flex tests to locate the problem initially. Flexion testing puts extra pressure on certain joints and will thus make pain in a joint more obvious to the clinician.

Do shoes help horses with arthritis?

“Shoeing methods for arthritic horses ideally incorporate ways to transfer motion to the ground rather than to painful joints,” says Kraus. “Shoes modified properly to help with arthritis issues may be a more permanent way to manage some horses with arthritis,” Parks says.

What can you give a horse for stiff joints?

Joint supplements

Once you have established your horse’s basic diet, you can help him further by using a joint nutraceutical. Joint nutraceuticals are ingredients that directly “nourish” the joint. These supplements contain one or more of the following: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid, Perna Mold.

How long do joint injections last in horses?

Hock injections can be effective from 6 to 12 months. If your hock injections only last 8-10 weeks, your horse may be a candidate for laser arthrodesis (surgical fusion).

Is apple cider vinegar good for horses?

Apple cider vinegar works to acidify the horse’s stomach for better digestion, cleaning out the digestive tract. It can also aid in the absorption of minerals and helps balance the acid/alkaline ratio which is essential for good health.

How to reduce inflammation in horses?

Hyaluronic Acid, Chondroitin Sulfate, Glucosamine and Manganese Sulfate administered at appropriate levels have been shown to reduce the effects of normal wear and tear, limiting damaging inflammation. These ingredients are recommended for horses of all ages.

What is the best anti-inflammatory for horses?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used drugs for pain management in horses. Examples include bute (eg Equipalazone), flunixin (eg Equinixin or Finadyne) and meloxicam (eg Metacam). These drugs relieve pain and help reduce inflammation and fever.

Is arthritis common in horses?

Arthritis is a very common disease in horses. This disease is an equal opportunity attack, which means that all types and ages of horses can be affected.

How to treat osteoarthritis in horses?

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone (Bute) taken by mouth, usually daily; or. Injectable products that contain hyaluronic acid or polysulfated active ingredients such as polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG) and pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS).

How much turmeric should I give my horse?

For a horse of around 500 kg, we suggest a heaping tablespoon of turmeric per day (approx. 25 mg), mixed into a paste with 2 tablespoons (approx. 50 ml) of oil. As with any feed, turmeric should be introduced into the horse’s diet slowly, building it up gradually over the course of a week or two.

What is a natural anti-inflammatory for horses?

Common herbal painkillers such as devil’s claw, yucca, and boswellia can be found in various horse supplements. Devil’s Claw – Taken from the root of the Harpagophytum procumbens shrub, Devil’s Claw has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties useful for joint pain.

Is Bute good for arthritis?

Phenylbutazone, or “bute” in simple terms, sold as Equipalazone, is the choice of most horse owners to reduce stiffness and pain associated with arthritic changes.

Is osteoarthritis hereditary in horses?

Little is known about the heritability of arthritis in horses, and no genetic region has been clearly shown to be associated with a predisposition in humans. It’s no surprise that a 14-year-old mare, especially one that has had a sporting career, has arthritic changes.

Do joint supplements work for horses?

Some reports have shown improvements while others have shown no effect. Fortunately, none showed harm. Many horse owners report anecdotal evidence that supplementation works. Some horse owners are concerned about giving their insulin resistant horses products that contain glucosamine, a type of sugar.

How much do cortisone injections for horses cost?

Compared to many other therapies, joint injections are relatively inexpensive. Joint injections can cost as little as $100 per joint and up to $800 in some cases (such as difficult hock or choking joints). But since it lasts a long time (months), the cost per day is reasonable.