We all have heard and are aware of arthritis in humans, but did you know that arthritis affects horses and other animals as well? Horses, too, can be affected by arthritis for many reasons. It can be hereditary, due to which the horse ends up growing abnormally with loose joints. It can also be due to injuries, poor conformation, extensive hard work in training and various other reasons. Arthritis in horses occurs when the liquid in the joints, known as synovial fluid, becomes thinner, thereby providing less cushion to the joints. Eventually, the fluid continues becoming thinner, making the joints grind against each other, thus causing significant pain. However, the good news is that a myriad of treatments are available to treat the arthritic horses. There are a number of treatments available to deal with arthritis in horses of any age. Read on further to know them.
How To Treat Arthritis In Horses
Different supplements are available that can be added to a horse’s diet to treat arthritis. These supplements include glucosomine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. These ingredients are known to repair the damaged cartilage and aid in the return of elasticity to the cartilage. Both these supplements are available over-the-counter at pet supply stores and can be given either together or separately.
Hyaluronate sodium can be given as an injection to the joints of the affected horse. This injection works as an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medication and lubricates the joints. The injection makes the movement easier and less painful for a horse. To get this medicine injected into your horse, it is best to get administered through a veterinarian at the vet’s office only.
For horses that are not yet been affected with severe arthritis, regular exercise comes out as a great treatment to benefit from. A low-impact exercise that includes supervised turnout, hand walking and hand grazing is best. It is important to supervise arthritic horses, since they cannot move and stretch enough. Exercise helps the cartilage of the joints to retain its strength and reduce the development of arthritis.
Allow the arthritic horses to go barefoot after consulting both a vet and farrier to find what is best for your horse specie. You will be surprised to see the vast positive improvement in your horse when the hoof is allowed to wear naturally. However, trim it in a shape so that the foot is flat.
Hot and Cold
Hot and cold therapy is best for treating chronic flare-ups. The treatment includes applying a compress or hosing off the joint. Cold therapy is used for heat, swelling and flare-ups, while hot therapy is useful for relaxing chronic stiffness and preparing the horse for exercise.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is injected directly into the joint to synthesize new cartilage cells that help in rebuilding the joint.