View Full Version : Arthiritus
14th September 2009, 06:35 PM
can arthiritus be avoided or prevented or will it happen anyway?
I have a 7yr old mare who has done very litttle apart from hacking. I would like to know what i can do to prevent arthiritus. Obviously work load etc.
Is there anything to feed her to ward off ?
14th September 2009, 06:49 PM
I wouldnt be too concerned at 7 with arthritis, im not sure about how well you can prevent in but my old boy was on a good supplement called Extra Flex HA by feedmark and he was super supple off that and didnt click anymore
14th September 2009, 07:18 PM
There are definitely ways to help reduce the risk of arthritis in the future.
Making sure she is not over worked, or worked hard on solid ground, minimising road work and making sure that she does not carry too heavy weights, this including keeping her at a good fitness level, will all help prevent arthritis in the future.
Of course there's always cases where arthritis just happens, especially with age - but by being careful with them when they're younger will all help when she's older. At 7 there shouldn't be too much of a worry with arthritis if she's been worked properly in the past and not charged around too much.
Arthritis isn't the end of the world though, a lot of it just needs some careful management and cutting down acitivity that's hard on the joints and the horse is still very much rideable.
14th September 2009, 08:22 PM
14th September 2009, 09:10 PM
Sadly, Arthritis can not be avoided alltogether.
It can only be prevented or 'held off' for a short while, and the effects can be lessened to some degree.
At some point you could introduce a general supplement which can aid arthritis [although please note most feed supplements dont work to repair the joint, only 'ease' stiffness] which would then work as a preventative from it affecting your horse sooner.
One of my horses had a terrible life as a baby, so i feed him a supplement that helps renew his joints, so come the day he may get arthritis, it will take longer to effect him, or may hold back the symptoms for a certain period of time. He isnt arthritic or stiff right now, but could be in the future, which is why i give it to him now.
One of my other horses is nearly 32, and he already has arthritis and is effected by it. I can not reverse this, all i can do is give him a supplement that can keep his joints renewing and lessen the inflammation, as he does suffer with it at times. I have considered steroid injections, which would assist. Although he has competed a long time, he is still active. However his joints have 'worn out' which is the fluid lessening, it can be replaced, however if it hasnt happened yet, dont go for really strong joint supplements, as when or if arthritis hits, you would need a super strength formula.
When a horse is noticeably effected by arthritis, or when it causes the horse discomfort/pain, which may result in unsoundness, then bute can be considered. My boy only has bute on the 'bad days' and all this summer has been sound without it.
Coupled with this, he is kept warm and has magnetic wraps for his hocks. He has arthritis in his hips due to a bad fall in the stables when he was 26, and also from a lifetime of jumping.
He is not ridden anymore, however when he still was, he was not worked on hard ground, only soft [such as grass and an arena, which didnt work deep]
The exercise is beneficial to keeping the joints mobile. If allowed to get cold and inactive, the horse will feel the effects of arthritis more and will generally 'stiffen' much quicker. Therefore it is important that 'little and often' exercise is maintained to keep them going.
As your horse is only 7, i would not worry about this for atleast another 5 years, unless she shows signs of stiffening before that.
General good management such as keeping the hooves in good shape will mean less uneven wear on the joints, good fitting tack, etc will all help.
Keep working hard on tarmac to a lower level if possible. Trotting for an hour every day, 6 times a week on the roads will not do their joints much good at all, however stick to a good routine of work and there shouldnt be any problems [such as no resting for a month, then galloping up a stubble field, then back to no work]
Good diet and management is important for good allround health anyway. Horses can live fantastic lives even with arthritis. My boy still did showjumping with it. Careful management while they are younger helps. Although just because a horse does a lot of competing, does not mean they are 100% bound to get it. My boy has done showjumping from the age of 5/6 all the way to 28, and only developed a noticeable effect of arthritis when he was 28, you may see that him retiring [of no fault of his own] then set the arthritis off. Even when they are old, frequent, no demand riding/hacking/walking out in hand can push arthritis back on the calendar.
Oh, and stretches are really good for them too, for all reasons not just arthritis. :)
15th September 2009, 03:06 PM
Its the fluid in the joints that deteriorates with age that causes the cartilage to wear away and then the joints become damaged and causes arthritis. If you maintain the synovial fluid through good diet, managed work and supplements such as cortaflex it lessens the severity and earlty onset of arthritis.
17th September 2009, 01:48 PM
My lad was only 11 when he was diagnosed with arthritis in his pasterns. I thought that my world had collapsed when he was diagnosed, however, with good supplements and a bit of time he came fully sound and has been for over three years now.
Sadly, five weeks ago he went badly lame again with the same problem and I am now keeping everything crossed that he eventually comes sound again.
Arthritis is a horrible condition which unfortunately, once suffered from, will just continue to get worse and worse as time goes on, as it is a degenerative joint disease (DJD). Banjo is slowly getting better, he's still on bute and rest, but is not now as lame as he was a month ago, so I am hopeful. This is why I have put what I have put in my signature - Cherish Every Day - that photo as well was at our Yard Summer Show when he was completely sound - the last time that I rode him properly:(
Having said all that doom and gloom - arthritis can often be managed very well, with trial and error of good supplements etc. I find Pernamax worked wonders when Banjo was first diagnosed - I am still using the tablets but am also now trying the topical gel.
17th September 2009, 01:50 PM
Oh god Fruddy..
Lump has returned to my throat. Poor boy.. How are you coping with it?
Im so sorry :(
I've got everything crossed for you both
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