Most horses are kept in stables nowadays. Such a modified habitat increases the sedentary state of the horse making it quite easy for it to acquire one or more joint problems. For one, hay nets and mangers decrease the need for neck stretching, which the horse actually needs to exercise its joints and beck and back muscles. Movements also are limited by the space that the horse now inhabits. Choosing the best joint supplement for your horse would be one of your tasks as a responsible horse owner to ensure that your filly won’t be experiencing any of these health issues later on.
Horse Joint Diseases
It is not only the horse habitat that may cause joint health related problems. A horse’s regular workload and training also make them vulnerable to these health issues. Racing and performing complicated stunts are culprits as well. But even those that may not be subjected to these strenuous activities will most likely develop bone and joint problems as they age, however.
As joint diseases like osteoarthritis, arthritis, synovitis, and so on can cause a lot of discomfort, even a loss of function in horses, any responsible horse owner will do whatever they believe will ease the pain that comes with the condition.
An appropriate diet may not be enough to treat such health issues as well. Fortunately, there are many joint supplements for horses in the market today that have been proven to provide the much-needed relief.
These joint supplements are an essential, especially for older horses as they do not produce enough glucosamine, which act as a lubricant that helps in the smooth operation of the joints. An insufficient glucosamine will weaken the cartilage’s ability to absorb heavy impacts they receive. As a result, joints also weaken and suffer.
Joint Supplements for Horses: A Necessity
In general, a joint supplement can help horses age better. It can also fight off the effects of osteoarthritis and other bone and joint problems in the long run.
There are varying levels of these health conditions and no horse is ever an exemption when it comes to developing any of such joint and bone issues. Even recreational trail horses will experience bone density changes and joint breakdowns over time. It can be the trainings or the workload that could cause one of these health issues. It could also be the feed that you provide for your horse.
Whatever reason it would be, it only indicates that supplementing the joint health of your horse to minimize the effects of osteoarthritis and to maximize the comfort and performance that your horse will have.
Choosing the Joint Supplement for Your Horse
Joint supplements for horse come in three types: those that are provided as feeds, injectable supplements, and those provided as biological treatments for horses.
Again, there are so many available options that can be used to address your filly’s bone and joint issues. It is always a smart thing to consider the recommendations of a veterinarian to properly address your equine’s health condition.
Below are the usual joint supplements considered for such purpose.
- Glucosamine. Glucosamine is the essential element that all connective tissues need to perform as they are designed to. Glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride are the forms of this substance that are used as a supplement for horses. Studies indicate that glucosamine is very effective when it comes to decreasing the pain that accompanies bone and joint problems.
- Corticosteroids. Medications under this category are said to be the most potent anti-inflammatory option and it also helps relieves the pain that accompanies the condition. Various corticosteroid medications are used for joint injection. The efficiency differs in the formula’s strength, the onset of its effect, and duration of effect.
- MSM or methylsulfonylmethane. MSM is an organic compound that contains sulfur and is necessary in the production of collagen and connective tissue. It also helps stabilize and strengthen the collagen, as well as enhances the function of glucosamine.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications. Medications in this category include phenylbutazone, flunixin, firocoxib, and so on, are formulated to interrupt the inflammatory process. As a result, the symptoms that usually accompany the condition, particularly pain and inflammation, are lessened.
- Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA). HA is found in connective tissues, cartilages and synovial fluid. It comes in injectable form, as an oral medication, as well as a feed mixture. Hyaluronan reduces the swelling and stimulates HA production.
Take note that not all of these medications will effectively address your horse’s condition. A proper diagnosis and recommendation by a certified veterinarian is still your best determinant in choosing the best joint supplement for your horse.