View Full Version : Osteo-arthritis (sp)
18th December 2009, 12:49 PM
Just after some advice to pass on to a friend really.
Friends horse has had intermittent lameness for a while now. She got vet out yesterday and horse has been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in his hocks :( For now, he has just been put on pain relief, not bute but something similar, can't think of the name of it.
Any of you have horses with the same thing?
Just after any advice or suggested treatments, that kind of thing.
Much appreciated :)
18th December 2009, 01:23 PM
never got as bad as lameness with Dennis but he was getting to be a little arthritic but i tried to nip it in the bud before it got worse he was on a fantastic supplement there are loads out there to choose from i used Feedmarks Extra Flex and also Zero Bute which has devils claw in it as well,
if he is very bad they can do steroid injections into the joint which i think has some kind of rejuvinating effect on the cartilidge in the joint but am not 100% sure, the only problem with steriods is they can sometimes trigger laminitis
18th December 2009, 04:47 PM
Bute is the most routinely given thing for OA. Lessen the inflammation which lessens the pain, and thus the lameness. They dont cure and they dont make anything better long term. Horses can live several years on bute, to keep the pain of arthritis away, and this can work really well. But, there are side effects and implications to feeding bute for so long, and the horse can get dependant on it, meaning having to increase the dosage.
Bandaging, magnetic pads, wraps, exercise all help. Walking around the field is often not enough, gentle and unstressful walking can really help to just keep joints ticking over. Making sure the legs dont get cold and wet will help too.
There are such 'anti arthritis' drugs as Adequan, which i considered for Scottie, which is a mix of drugs designed to help repair damage in the joint. In some cases it can have great effects, and in other cases very little. It's also a very expensive option.
Then there are corticosteroids, like what Scottie has gone onto. These are usually injected straight into the joint. Hocks are much easier to do than stifles, so does work out a bit cheaper if she goes down this route [if she needs any costs for injections, let me know]
Steroids work and an anti inflammatory, and because they are right into the joint, they can do much better things then treatments on the outside. Only problem is they can effect the horses system too much, which can cause a 'shock' reaction resulting in laminitis. Sadly with steroids, they also can simply not work for very long, if at all. They can be combined with hyralonic acid which can be found in joint supplements too, which can be injected on its own to help abosrb the joint.
Usually for most vets, to do something such as steroids, the horse would be required to have atleast xrays done to confirm it is infact OA and not anything else. This can be done at the yard or at home. Some vets will still diagnose OA without xrays, although its more expense, it can be better to know for certain if there have been arthritic changes in the legs before medicating and to know exactly where they are. Have seen it more than once a guess diagnosis turning into the wrong one.
If anyone decides to go down the steroid option, they need to maintain great contact with their vet. Communication is vital. They would also need to realise that it can be, and often is a very expensive trip for nothing, or for little benefit. There are a lot of options from just bandaging the joint to cartilage bone operations. It just depends on what is best for the horse.
Half asleep so will come back later
18th December 2009, 06:09 PM
well.. don't know horses with it but I have it in my ankle.
Fish oils are good. I give my boy the Codlavine suppliment as he has clicking joints and they seem to have stopped!
I'd say the horse needs to have gentle exercise. There's a balance between not doing enough which can casue more stffness and pain and doing too much. Stiffness will be worse after rest.. so if you do too much then rest for a while it can be very sore!!
18th December 2009, 06:50 PM
Thanks all :) The more advice the better and I will pass this on to my friend. I'll give it a bit longer to make sure others have seen the thread and written any advice
20th December 2009, 08:22 PM
The "not Bute" is probably Danilon.
We have several horses on the yard with this and have horses that have just had pain relief and work and some that have had Tildrin intravenous treatments. None of ours have had the steroid injection, but there is one horse on the other yard that had the fusion operation. Several of ours have also been sent swimming to get them sound again.
All the horses with just Osteo-hocks are still in work though there are a couple on the yard that have had to retire for other reasons. All are on various supplements (glucosamine, ginger, glucosamine HCL, Cortaflex, Mobifor, Synequin) depending on how advanced the condition is (it is progressive) and on what works for what horse (not all the same).
feel free to pm me if you have specific questions.
21st December 2009, 09:42 PM
Justin had bone spavins diagnosed as a 8/9 year old (arthrititc changes in the hock) I was told that he may never be right again but his bone Spavins fuesed well and became sound although very stiff in winter and after long hacks on hard ground. I used many a joint supplement and found the only one to work was the superflex by NAF and was very happy with this product Justin became a good hack but all competing stopped which was a sad blow but I love my boy so much I didnt care as long as he was happy. I moved him yards 3 yrs ago when i bought Sasha and wanted them together in same field and to a place with better hacking for Justin. He has his own field he shares with Sasha and a lovely cosy stable His new field is on a hill and since he has been on it he has never been stiff in summer and off all joint supplements (3 yrs) he occasionaly gets stiff in colder weather after being in all night but bandages keep his legs cosy and if on does ot get stiff. If he has to spend all day in he wears his Bio flow boots. Since I have moved him yards he is happy, shining and glossy, pain free and started competing again (up to 2ft 6) although Jumps the occasional 3ft jump at home. The vet cant believe it is the same horse and how well he is doing as after being diagnosed with bone spavins he thoght he would be totally arthritic by now. Sorry I am rambling on but after what I have experienced a field with a small hill (depending on how bad with arthritis horse is) is the best thing while it wont cure them I think it helps keep the strength and movement in them. Bandages a must if stabled and light exercise depending on horse as they only seize up if left to stiffen. Also we have a 32 cob on our yard who has been on the hils all his days and apart from an extremelly dipped back he is as fit as a flee with a little stiffness Vet swears by our hills!
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