Arthritis HELP Please!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Arthritis HELP Please!!

Okay, so my 10 year old Quarter Horse mare has stiffness issues. When I take her out of her stall in the morning she is soo stiff on just one of her front legs and her other front leg is a little stiff. She is out to pasture all day and then I bring her in for night or vice versa. Before I work her, I always lunge her and she loosens up a lot after that but she still is kind of stiff.
I was told to put front shoes on her but I don't know how that will help her joints, yes maybe she will be more balanced but I don't know how that will help her joint problems. I would like to try some joint supplements for about a month and see if that works for her. Have any suggestions for joint supplements??
And do you think the joint supplements will help her enough that I will not need to put shoes on her? Please give me some advice on this topic!
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 07:15 PM
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A combination of DC-Y and Fluid Flex helped keep a mare of mine comfortable for several years but it did not stop the progress of the arthritis and eventually I had to make that decision none of us likes to make. She was kept barefoot.

Is there any way your mare could have permanent turnout so she doesn't stiffen up? If you're worried about her grazing too much putting her in a round pen or an arena would still give her more freedom to move around than a stall.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 07:16 PM
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You need to have a vet evaluate what the issue is, then figure out where to go. If it is navicular-shoes are necessary. No other option that I am aware of, but I have not had one with Navicular in years. If is it arthritic stiffness, there are many supplements to choose from, and your ver can advise you. My arthritic guy is vastly improved on CortaflexHA and MSM. Al horses are different tho, and just like people need different things.

If it is arthritis she may also be better off out 24/7........
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 07:18 PM
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I have a 25 year old QH that also has arthritis. I've tried pure MSM, which helped, but I needed more. I recently started using Flex Force (has HA, MSM, glucosamine) which has made a huge difference. Here is a link to it: CORTA-FLX Flex-Force Pellets with HA -

I also give Pentosan shots once a month. This is something a lameness specialist vet suggested and it has really helped. Technically it's not a generic Adequine but it works the same way.

ETA: I cannot help shoes vs no shoes, but my guy has always been barefoot. He is also in way more than I'd like (up to 20 hours a day) but does not stay too stiff anymore thanks to the supplements. I definitely agree with the others that more turnout is best. I would have mine out 24/7 if there was a place around here that allowed it!
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 07:26 PM
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Have you tried 24/7 turn out?

If you do want to try a joint supplement I use flex waffers on my older Arab cross and I like them a lot. I would not just to put shoes on right away especially if its arthritis. I believe in leaving a horse bare foot as much as you can.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 10:32 PM
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I use a combination of Pentosan IM Injections and now am trying SmartFlex Senior. She was on Corti-Flex with HA and MSM, but just trying something different.

the Pentosan has been a lifesaver to me. Its similar to Adequan IM, but cheaper and anti-inflammatory properties to it.

I also stay away from Omega 6 fatty acids as they can increase inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are great though.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 11:01 PM
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I would say that your first step would be to have a vet trusted come out and do an exam. It's not always easy to tell exactly what is wrong with our horses--sometimes we think its one thing but it could be another (same with us!). I have found that it is best to get a professional opinion and follow that with well-educated advice before making our own changes.

From my view, the problem does sound joint related and I have been recommended by my vet to use to Smartflex Senior from Smartpak (my horse has various joint problems) has high levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and msm as well as amino acids and herbs like devils claw which has a similar effect like bute with way less side effects. It's a very well-rounded supplement. I have heard that oral liquid hyaluronic acid is beneficial and there are also joint injections that can be administered by a professional as well as other injectable possibilities..

At this point, if it is just arthritis, barefoot *tends to be the better option over shoes. However, you might find out that she has an issue that would benefit from particular shoes. 24/7 turnout (minus the occasional in-day or being brought in for grain and turned out) is the absolute best natural and non-invasive thing that you can do for a horse with arthritis! Being left in at night, even if out for the day, can really cause a horse to stay stiff. Movement like turn-out and regular exercise is essential to keep the joint liquid flowing. Even if you take her on trail rides and go over basic flatwork just to keep her moving, that is helpful for her. Make sure she has really well trimmed and balanced feet--whether you go for the shoes or not.

Good luck :)
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-03-2013, 11:06 PM
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I have my 23 yr old Paint on SmartFlexSenior, and it has made so much of a difference you wouldnt know he is the same horse. I started him on it in March i think and saw a huge improvement after 2 weeks. Before SmartFlex he couldnt lift his legs to let me pick them out. Now he has so much more bounce to his step. I also like how it has ingrediants in it to help his immune system and my farrier was shock at how much growth he had after only a month! It's definetly worth my $35 a month.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-04-2013, 05:16 AM
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After the vet examines and you discuss, keep in mind that a supplement only works if a horse will eat it. Smartpack is pretty good about sending samples you can try to see what works for your horse. There are many with very similar ingredients.

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-04-2013, 09:07 AM
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^^^ this. I have to coax my mare to eat her supplements. I hate it. My other horses will eat the SmartFlex Senior right out of my hand like a treat. Rumor...No. she doesn't like it. It even smells good to me! But oh no...i have to hide it in grain!
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