Arthritis (also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) and Osteoarthritis (OA)) is a progressive deterioration of the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones that join together to form a joint. This surface of the bone should be smooth and lubricated, allowing for free movement and shock absorption. When deterioration is present, the cartilage surface is changed, or disrupted, which causes stiffness, pain, and soreness. Arthritis is very common, actually, one of the most common conditions that affects horses and has been noted to be responsible for up to 60% of lameness. Though horses who have been worked hard, had injuries, are shod, or have poor conformation are more susceptible to developing arthritis, it is also a part of the normal aging process and any horse can develop this over time.
Horses display many different symptoms of arthritis. Any horse with uneven or stiff gaits or a shortened stride could be suffering from arthritic pain. A vet examination may include history and physical exam, followed by palpation, flexion tests for soundness, nerve block, or imaging for a diagnosis. While there are prescription medications available, these treatments are not effective treatments for the long term control. Adequan, for example, is an “FDA approved”, drug treatment for arthritis. This is given most commonly through injection, but over time will stop working as the joint deterioration continues. Pain management includes Bute, Equioxx, other NSAID’s, or topical creams, but these only act as a band-aid for the problem.
There are many other supplements for arthritis as well, but these supplements are also short lived as they do not work to stop further degeneration. Supplements will only “support” the normal and healthy joint tissues, so these only work well when supplemented BEFORE the horse has any joint damage. Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM are the three most common supplements used for arthritic horses. These things are substances that are naturally found in a healthy joint capsule. When injury or disease occur and the joint capsule is damaged, these things are lost. So, while you can give a horse the supplements for arthritis, it is unnecessary and will only act as a “band aid”, if you will, and will not repair what has happened to the capsule. Also, what is not widely known is how much of these substances actually have to be administered to even get results. Glucosamine, for example, would only help to relieve pain if given 10,000mg per day! Glucosamine and Chondroitin work best together and you would need about 1,250 to 5,000mg per day (depending on whether or not the horse was being worked) of Chondroitin to make it worthwhile. MSM requires a dosage of 20,000mg per day. It is almost impossible to find any sort of supplement that contains this amount of these substances, and these things will NOT stop, repair/reverse the damage.
Our Arthritis formula will not only alleviate pain and inflammation, but it will also stop further progression and joint damage and degeneration. This is directed to go to the root of the problem to actually REPAIR the damage. Then, the body can physiologically begin to replace the natural glucosamine and chondroitin (etc.) that is in a healthy joint. If given for a long enough period of time (which varies based on the extent of joint damage) it will actually work to recover the bone and joint integrity, quite literally reversing the damaged joint. It is quite remarkable and I cannot tell you how many horses are getting relief!