I too agree with contacting SmartPak. Their Consultants are very knowledgeable and can help you get started in the right direction. They aren't pushy, they listen very well, they answer questions asked, and do not make you feel like you have to purchase any product.
Now the issue I have, is that there have been many studdies done on Joint Suppliments oral and IM's, and what concerns me is that the Oral Suppliments fall under the Equine Nutrition category, which means, rules and regulations are not that strict. Soooo, what they say is, due to this, companies can say that "This" and "This" ingredient is in the suppliment, when in reality there isn't. Or they can say that "This much" and "This much" of a dose are in the product, when, the doses are not even close. Etc, etc, etc.
And, also, studdies have been done on how effective the product is after the horse eats it up. The process it has to go through, in order for it to get to the joint...is long and strenuous - and by the time it gets to where it needs to be, only a small amount in compareson to the dose given, only gets there.
So, make sure you do your research and as stated already, make sure the product has the NASC stamp of approval on the product. And understand that oral suppliments are wishy washy. They may work, they may not. You may be spending good money, you may be flushing it down the toilet.
Where, IM's like Adequan, Legend, Polyglycam, Glucosamine - fall under the Equine Medical category, where rules and regulations are very strict and closely followed. So, the product is, what the company states the product is. The ingredients are, exactly what is stated. What the company states the product does, the product does.
I say, get the fellow on an IM. I have my 21 year old TB on Adequan, and the difference was night and day after he got his first dose. His reaction to the first dose, made our decision to not do the loading dose. He gets his IM once a month, and has been doing very well on it. He has arthritus in his hind right hock.
The choice is yours, if you want to go oral, make sure you do your research. I hope all goes well for you and your boy! What you are doing for him, is a great thing!
Thanks for the informative post =) I appreciate it, from you and the rest of the posters. Unfortunately, oral is our only option. He doesn't tolerate needles well at all so it would stress him out too much to do anything except an oral supplement. I think I'm going to do some more research to make sure that I'm giving him the best possible chance with the supplement. And I'll do some more looking at smartpak.