Joint supplements? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-01-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Joint supplements?

My mare is in reining training for at least the next three months. She just started today, and she's getting worked HARD 6 days a week.

She gets one scoop of this feed twice a day: Nutrena: Products - Horses - Life Design - Life Design Compete

She gets two scoops of orchard/alfalfa cubes twice a day and she's on grass overnight (14+ hours).

She also gets one scoop of Platinum twice a day: Platinum Performance Equine | PlatinumPerformance

...and Black-as-Knight, not that that really matters.

Do you think I should put her on a joint supplement as well? I know how hard reining is on their joints, and one of the reining horses in our barn went lame today (the day my mare started training) and I'm taking it as a bad omen.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-01-2010, 10:48 PM
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Oral joints supplements are at best mildly effective. If you want full benefits then I highly suggest monthly IV Legend and IM Adequan. I am in a similar boat to you. I have a horse in f/t training who I would rather keep sound now than have to deal with a lame horse later. I have owned him for almost two years and he has been on Adequan and Legend since I purchased him. He has been in f/t training the entire two years with no lame days.
I highly recommend it for prevention. $75-150/month (depending on your area and vet) is about the same, or less than all the oral supplements you would otherwise purchase, and it is way more effective. Plus, having no "surprise" vet bills is so nice.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-02-2010, 09:18 AM
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I agree with Anabel, I would look more towards IM's than oral.

The reason being, is that Oral suppliments fall under the "Equine Nutrition" category in the world of horse care. In this category, the rules and regulations of ingredients and tests and studdies are not that strict. So, the makers can state that there is "this and this" in the ingredients, but in reality, there is no such thing. They can swear that the product works, but have no proof to stand behind their statements.

IM's, fall under the "medical" field in the equine world - so that means, that there are very strict rules and regulations that have to be followed, and that testing occurs on a very regular basis, to ensure that the product does what the makers state that it does.

IM's are proven through studdies, through research and through investigations to do the job that they state that they do, thanks to the field that they fall under.

So, if you want to go oral, that's fine - but in my opinion, you're spending money on a product that may not be what it states and may not give you the results you want because of how loose the regulations are in the category that they fall under.

I pesonally, use an IM. I was going to go with Adequan, but after my Husband found out how expensive it is to use, he said no.

There are quite a few different types of IM's. Glucosamine being the basic, and being the cheapest. Then, there is Polyglycam, then a generic version of Adequan, then Adequan and then Legend.

Glucosamine comes in a very large vile, and you usually give your horse 3cc's a dose. There is a loading dose, 3 shots once every week, then after that you go to one shot a month. The bottle costs about $25.00. Then there's Polyglycam, a step up from Glucosamine..and that comes in a bottle that costs about $75.00, there's a loading dose as well.

Then Adequan. Adequan costs $40.00 for 1 shot, and the loading dose is 7 shots in 1 month. Oich....that's what did it in for my Hubby. And Legend....same loading dose, but costs more per shot.

I personally, wouldn't go to Adequan or Legend as a preventative. My Vet explains that these are not supposed to be used as a preventative or a continuous thing because they are designed to repair damage already done, then when the repair takes its' place, the user is to go to a maintenance suppliment.

I would go with Glucosamine or Polyglycam.

After sitting down and discussing all options for Nelson after his injury in January, we decided to go with Glucosamine. Yes, damage was done, but my Vet said start with the simplest and if that doesn't work, move up to the next, and to the next until results are shown. With the Glucosamine, results have already shown.

Sometimes bound to sulfates, sometimes to hydrochloride (there's considerable debate as to which is better), glucosamine is one of the constituents of GAGs and proteoglycans in the joints, as well as an essential ingredient in most of the body's connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, skin, hooves, heart valves, blood vessels, cell membranes, and so on. It's also a component of sodium hyaluronate. With-out enough glucosamine, the horse has no hope of healing damaged cartilage.

Providing glucosamine to joint cells, in theory, stimulates them to produce more GAGs, including . It'sodium hyaluronate is important to note that glucosamine is a small molecule that is water soluble, so it can travel across membranes fairly easily.
So, we're going with that to start, and he's improved greatly.

I greatly believe that just because our horses show no signs of joint issues, we shoud still give a joint suppliment to aid in prevention. Our horses take alot of stress in their joints on a daily basis when we ride them - so why not give them help. We take Vitamins everyday, when we arent sick, and as woman we take calcium before we show signs of bone weakness - so why not the same for our horses?

My advice, is to start with Glucosamine IM. If you want to go with an oral, that's fine, your choice, look for something with high doses of the key main ingredients.

Glucosamine, Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate.

Last edited by MIEventer; 03-02-2010 at 09:23 AM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-02-2010, 09:42 AM
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Legend is HA. It is also an IV injection. Using the generic of Adequan (PSGAG) yields the same results as Adequan, same with using HA in a generic vs. Legend. The only difference between the generic and the name brand is that if something goes wrong, there is no one to sue if you are using the generic.
As far as loading doses? Adequan IM needs loading doses because of its mechanism. It is different from Legend. The PSGAG molecules need to have a certain concentration in the joint in order to do anything which is why after the loading dose it is imperative that the horse is religiously injected once every 4 weeks, unless you want to load them again. For healthy horses where Adequan is being used as a preventative you do not need to load it. After a few months of being on it, it will build up in their systems enough for preventative purposes. Legend IV does not need loading. It works in the system at any concentration and depending to what vet you talk to they may recommend for full effectiveness injecting it once a week, every week. For most purposes it is acceptable to inject it IV once every 4 weeks, with Adequan (PSGAG) IM.
I can't comment on loading with glucosamine IM because I have never used it, nor can I comment on it's effectiveness. IM glucosamine has never been recommended to me to use either as a preventative or to treat already existing arthritis. All vets I have talked to recommend using Adequan and Legend as a preventative and treatment. The same goes for books and studies. I would venture to say that over 90% of horses either in the FEI levels or aspiring for them with reputable trainers in my area are on Adequan and/or Legend. I do use the generics to reduce costs, but half the time in the show season my horses end up on brand name because I'm traveling and they need boosters at a show.
The mechanisms of PSGAG and HA are different. The HA serves to improve joint fluid in the horse to cushion the joint and prevent damage to the cartilage. This makes it good mostly for prevention although it can make arthritic horses more comfortable.
PSGAG molecules serve to strengthen the cartilage and in some cases repair it. This is why PSGAG is good for preventative and repairative treatment. PSGAG is the only molecule shown to repair damage, making it good for horses with existing joint disease over glucosamine or HA.

Anyways, enough of my ramble. I've had horses on this stuff for years and it's always been recommended to me by every vet, trainer, etc.. as the best way to prevent and treat joint disease.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-04-2010, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the information! I'm going to talk to my vet about it tomorrow : ]
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