Arthritic Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-16-2009, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Arthritic Horse

Open to suggestions wife has her first horse, which is now a 22 year old quarter horse. Great horse, super personality but with the age and what he was used ofr earlier (barrel racing), he is starting to have problems with his front end now even on mild days. Last winter, with the snow and cold temps, he was binding up and we did bute him with 1 - 2 grams a day (not for long periods though). This past fall, I put boots on his front feet and that seemed to help some, for a while. Now I am sort of back to where I was earlier. Any suggestions, or past experiences tat I should consider?
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-16-2009, 08:41 PM
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I don't see how boots would help arthritis so there may be more going on here, but for arthritis put him on glucosamine with chondroitin twice a day to start. After a week, you can put him to once a day. I can't remember how much I gave my guy; I think 2 tsp each feeding (so double that for the first week). You can get it at a natural food store in bulk sometimes cheaper than at the farm/horse supply. This worked for me; within a week I noticed a difference. In two weeks he was back to his old self, but my horse was young so an older horse will likely not show the change as much.

Lots of people here swear by MSM also, but I don't have any experience with it.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-16-2009, 11:15 PM
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I have an older off the track TB and I swear by Fluid Flex! FluidFlex from SmartPak Equine

Shoeing also made his soundness better. He would get really stiff and sometimes lame just from a normal ride about 3 times a week. Now we're riding w/t/c & jumping almost everyday and he's as sound as they come!

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-17-2009, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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I have had the QH on glucosamine and MSM now for several years and it did make a difference. Now, it does not seem to be as effective as it once was. The last vet visit, for his annual check, we were told that he was basically good for light riding, on flat areas, with small people. That's OK, as I have other horses and do not want to discomfort him any. I am just looking to improve his comfort level. As to putting boots on him, it did seem to help, but there is nothing noteable about his feet. He is barefoot and trimmed regulary, so no issue with that and there is no heat whatsoever in his feet or lower limbs. I'll look into the fluid flex that Sir Drake mentioned.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-17-2009, 08:58 AM
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Our old boy gets vegetable oil in his feed - it seems to help him a lot.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-17-2009, 10:14 AM
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when you put boots on him, were they hoof boots? I wonder if there is something else going on along with the arthritis. I have some older boys as well. I have used cortiflex and it seems to help. I also try to keep them turned out 24-7 weather permitting. I do have an overhang to keep them safe from the elements but they definitely seem to do better being turned out rather then stalled. In the winter I end up stalling at night and that is when I see the worst of the stiffness issues. Another thought is fly protection, he won't need the extra stress added to already stiff joints by trying to pound flies.

Good luck to you.

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-17-2009, 05:36 PM
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I would talk to your vet about hyaluronic acid injections. Ask about the generic version. They really helped my arthritic dog and have done wonders for a few friend's horses. You should be able to give them yourself once your vet shows you how. You give them once a week for 6 weeks, then once every 2 weeks for a while, then once a month. Some animals can go every 6-8 weeks eventually. The injections work better than feed-through hyaluronic acid.

With that I would also treat him with a oral supplement. Look for one that is NASC certified and contains high levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin C, and MSM. I have had good luck with products. They have a couple that would fit the bill for your wife's horse.
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Other good joint supplements:
SmartFlex Senior from SmartPak Equine
Senior Flex from SmartPak Equine
Equinyl Combo from SmartPak Equine
Matrix 4 from SmartPak Equine
Next Level Pellets from SmartPak Equine

Try one of these instead of bute next winter:
B-L Pellets from SmartPak Equine
Devil's Claw Plus from SmartPak Equine

Also, keep riding him! Arthrtic horses do better the more exercise they have.

If boots helped him, then you might want to find a different farrier, one who has experience with arthritic horses. A change in hoof angle, shape, or length may help ease his discomfort even more.
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