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Arthritis

horse arthritis

Arthritis in Horses

Degenerative joint diseases are common for older, aging horses, generally from the age of 15 and up. Your horse may build up to an arthritic condition in a non-obvious way over a matter of years, or he may have a sudden, obvious onset of arthritis. If you can identify arthritis in your horse, the better chances you have at delaying the long term joint damage, and prepare your horse for more years of activity.

If your horse has a sudden onset of lameness, you should call your vet.

Causes of Horse Arthritis:

  • Aging
  • Injuries
  • Genetic disposition

How to Recognize Joint Degeneration

Like we said, catch it early. Know the signs. The best time to spot these signs is right after some light exercise.

  • 1. Puffiness Around Joints (synovitis)
    Especially on weight bearing joints. The best way to know when your senior horse has puffy joints, is to inspect them closely when they're not puffy, when they're younger. Know the difference. The joints around the feet, pastern and fetlock as well as the carpal, knee, joints should look defined. Over time, synovitis may be accelerating, the soft fluid areas will fill in and reduce the definition of these areas. This is a perfect time to employ a home remedy to protect from joint damage.
  • 2. Limping
    This isn't necessarily arthritis, but it is an obvious sign of a problem. See your vet.
  • 3. Reluctance to Move Normally
    Your horse may seem to squirm, raise his head or hollow his back. He may be slow to get going. Take note of this.

How to Help

A horse with an acute onset of arthritis may need special therapy or veterinarian care. Catching joint issues early with horses is the way to go. These steps will help promote great joint health for years ahead for your horse.

  1. 1. Get Him Out of the Stall
    Light, regular exercise is very important to keep promoting joint-fluid circulation, as well as overall health. If you can let him live on a pasture, that's ideal. But if a pasture life isn't possible, turn him out in a paddock, or give him regular walks.
  2. 2. Passive Movement Therapy
    Pick up each leg, bend and straighten the joint areas. Repeat about 10 times and perform this action about 4 times per day if possible. This will keep scar tissue from forming and helps promote cartilage and soft tissue healing.
  3. 3. Provide Joint Nutrients
    There is good evidence that providing your horses with natural joint nutrients, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, can help protect and repair from joint damage.
  4. 4. Maintain Good Living Conditions
    Make sure his living quarters are clean and dry.

Joint Supplements for Horses

"Just want to tell you that my farrier was VERY pleased with my horse's pastern after 1.5 months on this product!!!! I am so excited that he's getting movement back in his pastern this fast!!!! He was recovered off the track with a vertical front canon fracture and had 2 plates on his bone for 10 months, so he lost some flexion there. The back has come back nicely so it's rotating around to the front. This is truly amazing for Joey! He was having a lot of lameness at trimming. My farrier said..... "Joey definitely has more movement in his pastern than he has since I began his hoof care. I was very surprised to see the amount of movement, and the fact when I did a flexion test, he really leaned into it, as if it felt so good."
From: Theresa about RJX™ for Horses (Regenerative Joint Extra Strength)

1. RJX™ for Horses
This is a triple-strength liquid with the "Big 3" ingredients to support joints and ligaments. A concentrated formula with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. RJX™ for Horses is a powerful formula designed to provide the nutritional building blocks for great joint health without negative side effects.


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† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

* Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Nusentia, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Nusentia's experts and the Nusentia community. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions for your pet based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified veterinarian or health care professional.

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary from animal to animal. It is your responsibility to discuss this information with your vet and make sure it is appropriate for you pet's health. The information is not a substitute for an examination, checkup, or treatment when your pet has a health problem.