Arthritis in my driving horse? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Arthritis in my driving horse?

I broke my Kentucky Mountain gelding a couple years ago to drive (he is now 14), recently he was not traveling right under harness and so had his leg (knee) x-rayed and found that at some time he had suffered some sort of trauma in the knee and now was getting Arthritic. My vet said that when I use him (which is often) to give him Bute first but it will be progressive and may need cortisone shots down the road. My question is; even with the pain meds, I am worried that to continue to drive him will be too stressful. Would really appreciate any opinions on this. Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 01:06 PM
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IMO giving bute isn't ever a great option before working a horse, because it deadens the animal to the pain and may cause it to do more damage because it isn't being careful. If he's already arthritic enough to be hurting when he drives, I'd look into starting him on an oral artheritis supplement and wait for that to make him more comfortable before asking him to work again. Activitiy is fantastic for arthritic horses and slows the progess if it is done in moderation and with proper warming up/cooling down, but working while hurting is no good for him. There will come a point when the oral supplement won't be enough, but cross that bridge when it comes. There are many different options for arthritic horses these days including shots.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 01:49 PM
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Can you give him MSM or another joint supplement to help with his joints? I give our draft mare's a bute now and then if I feel they are stiff and sore, or I will take them out and ground drive them to warm them up and get them moving. That often helps.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
IMO giving bute isn't ever a great option before working a horse, because it deadens the animal to the pain and may cause it to do more damage because it isn't being careful. If he's already arthritic enough to be hurting when he drives, I'd look into starting him on an oral artheritis supplement and wait for that to make him more comfortable before asking him to work again. Activitiy is fantastic for arthritic horses and slows the progess if it is done in moderation and with proper warming up/cooling down, but working while hurting is no good for him. There will come a point when the oral supplement won't be enough, but cross that bridge when it comes. There are many different options for arthritic horses these days including shots.
Thank you for the great info. I have always worried the same thing about Bute that is just "masks" the pain. I do have some Corta-FLX (with Glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin) that I used on my mare (who has some arthritis in her back leg) I forgot I had it...Geez : I will try it. I have taken my gelding on long drives and was worried to continue this. He is a good boy and so forgiving; don't want to hurt him further.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreySorrel View Post
Can you give him MSM or another joint supplement to help with his joints? I give our draft mare's a bute now and then if I feel they are stiff and sore, or I will take them out and ground drive them to warm them up and get them moving. That often helps.

Thank you so much for your input. Please see my response to Endiku's reply.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 02:38 PM
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Its good that you're looking out for him. So many owners are willing to fill their horse up on bute and since they aren't limping while ON the bute, they go "My horse is great, he can do everything he always did!" and never realize that they're hurting their horse further.

I think your gelding will benefit greatly from the Corta-Flx. Give him a couple of weeks on it and see how he does; you might find that he feels just dandy again with the extra joint help!

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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 04:25 PM
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I hope you understand that when I do give bute it isn't "to mask" the pain and I know what to watch for with mine and when to quite. I am not one of those owners who butes then works the hound out of their horse all day because they look okay. You have to watch and pay attention, but bute, in certain circumstances, can be beneficial, much like when elderly take an aspirin to help get them going.

Good luck and hope the joint supplement works for you. Let us know how he does.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 04:33 PM
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^ GreySorrel, I apologize, those posts were not in any way meant for you. I've just seen too many inexperienced/careless owners give their horses a gram or two of bute like they give hay or water, and assume the horse is fine because its not limping. I don't think you mistreat your horses at all ;)

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku View Post
^ GreySorrel, I apologize, those posts were not in any way meant for you. I've just seen too many inexperienced/careless owners give their horses a gram or two of bute like they give hay or water, and assume the horse is fine because its not limping. I don't think you mistreat your horses at all ;)
No harm at all...in fact, in March when we went to the plow day, we stopped giving wagon rides after doing it for about 5 hours or so. When asked why, I explained that my mares hadn't been harnessed in about 8 months or so, due to hoof issues all fall/winter. Others who were giving wagon rides drove their teams ALL day, and I personally think if your horse isn't fit or if they haven't had any work all winter, that is a bit much.

Thanks for the compliment.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 07:12 PM
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My vet recommends injectables over oral supplements. Oral supplements aren't always as well absorbed. Pentosan injections aren't that expensive ($170 a bottle). One bottle lasts me about a year for one horse!

I have two very arthritic horses. I can't say oral supplements are very helpful but I do keep them on MSM since it is cheap.
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