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This is a discussion on Surpass within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    03-01-2010, 07:11 PM

My horse has advanced arthritis, has anybody ever used surpass? DMSO and steroid?

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    03-01-2010, 07:41 PM
Green Broke
I used surpass per recommendation of my vet when my horse got kicked in the stifle. It's good for reducing pain and inflammation so I would guess that it would be good for arthritis. I would ask your vet to make sure
    03-01-2010, 09:14 PM
    03-01-2010, 09:19 PM

My granddaughters 24 yr old barrel mare had arthritic knees. We used Surpass on her before her runs and when she was sore, it really helped her alot.
I have also used it on my thumb that is very arthritic and is helps it so much.
Expensive, but I like it much better than DMSO and other things.
    03-01-2010, 10:10 PM
I've heard nothing but good things about Surpass...though have never used it myself. Topical applications are usually not my primary choice because their are short acting, but Surpass seems to penetrate deeply.

For arthritis you might want to look into supplementation and then use the Surpass during flare ups.
    03-01-2010, 10:16 PM
Surpass is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory just like Bute or Banamine. It is only supposed to be used on one joint at a time otherwise you increase the risk of the same GI adverse reactions that you can see with Bute or Banamine. However, it's good if you just have one area to treat such as a single injury. But if you are treating arthritis in multiple joints (common), then you would be better off to use a systemic anti-inflammatory so that you can treat more than one joint at a time.

DMSO is an anti-inflammatory as well but is carries the risk of ending up internalizing anything it comes into contact with. For example, if you have residue from any other medication on whatever you use to apply DMSO, you end up dosing your horse with that as well. Or yourself! DMSO should always be used while wearing gloves for this reason. DMSO is not your best option at all for advanced arthritis.

Steroids are not the top choice for arthritis in horses. They may be used, but not commonly for arthritis unless you are talking about a joint injection rather than systemic use.

For advanced arthritis, the best treatment protocol tends to be a mixture of different treatments. Daily turnout, mild exercise, oral glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, Adequan IM, Bute as necessary for situations where the discomfort is more pronounced and possibly even joint injections depending on the intended use of the horse.

You should discuss all of these options with your veterinarian.
    03-01-2010, 11:40 PM
Thanks Ryle!

But, I would also suggest against oral glucosamine and chonroitin supplements. They have not been shown to be very effective and your money is much better spent on IV Legend and/or IM Adequan. In speaking with many people, and from personal experience, it is much cheaper to use these injections monthly than to be spending money on many ineffective oral supplements.
Talk to your vet.

Good luck!
    03-01-2010, 11:50 PM
Green Broke
I have had good experiences with the oral supplement Corta-Flx. I know some do not like oral supps as they supposedly are ineffective, but they helped my mare tremendously. Granted, she does not have severe arthritis so I don't know how it would affect your boy.

IM Adequan is also a great option.
    03-02-2010, 12:14 AM
Originally Posted by eventerdrew    
I have had good experiences with the oral supplement Corta-Flx. I know some do not like oral supps as they supposedly are ineffective, but they helped my mare tremendously. Granted, she does not have severe arthritis so I don't know how it would affect your boy.

IM Adequan is also a great option.
I have used Corta-FLX on various horses. I have also used Legend and Adequan on various horses. Horses I know have actually developed joint disease while on oral supplementation (Including Corta-FLX and Corta-RX) and were almost entirely relieved of symptoms when put on Legend and Adequan.

You can read various other case studies, and clinical studies regarding Legend, Adequan versus oral supplements. Oral supplements may help some horses to a degree, but the only way to ensure what you are putting in your horse doesn't end up in their poop is to put it straight into them. The molecules in oral joint supplements are simply too large to be absorbed in a large enough quantity to be as effective as we need.

Good luck!
    03-02-2010, 10:27 AM
The AAEP funded a study on oral glucosamine and chondroitin supplements and did find that they were beneficial when dosed appropriately. Many of the supplements on the market are not providing high enough levels of glucosamine.
So, choose the product with the highest glucosamine content you can find. You should shoot for 10,000mg for an average sized horse.

"Glucosamine reduced cytokine-stimulated gene expression of a number of mediators of osteoarthritis pathophysiology, in agreement with previous in vitro studies, albeit at a lower concentration." --from the 2006 AAEP convention proceedings

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