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Viranh 10-13-2013 02:16 AM

Joint supplement doesn't seem to be helping
I have had my mare on a full dose of SmartFlex Senior since May, but I honestly am not noticing a difference. I have had good luck with supplements of other types on other horses, but it really doesn't seem like she is responding to this one. :( Is it worth switching brands, or is she just not able to absorb it? This supplement has pretty decent amounts of each ingredient compared to others on the market. She has also been getting HA via an IV injection on a monthly or every other month sort of schedule.

Totally frustrated right now. I think we are going to switch from IV HA to pentosan in the near future in hopes that I will get a more sound horse, and may just have the joints injected this spring if I haven't found any other way to manage her discomfort.

I'd love to hear some recommendations on supplements that might be better, or other things I might be able to do for her. She is in light work. I'm riding 3-5x per week for 30min to an hour in good footing, just doing flat work. Just moved her to a boarding facility for winter, so she has a larger turnout and actual grass, and therefore she is getting to move around more during the day.

CLaPorte432 10-13-2013 09:00 AM

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I use Pentosan, SmartFlex Senior, Corti-Flex HA and a scoop of 10,000mg pure MSM .

And she still may have an off step here and there.

How old is she? What is her diagnosis? Severe arthritis? Moderate? Legs? Back?

Perhaps you haven't found the right combination to use on her.

Oral supplements are hard for horses to digest, gluclosamine molecules are too large to be absorbed. So its important to continue with an alternative (IV/IM)
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flytobecat 10-13-2013 09:03 AM

I've been thinking of trying glucosamine shots. My chiropractor has been using them on her arthritic gelding with a lot of success.

tlkng1 10-13-2013 09:09 AM

A supplement that works on one may not work on another...sometimes it is just a juggling game. There is a product out there called Hyalun which is a liquid highly concentrated form of Hyaluronic acid (abbreviated HA in supplements). This liquid form is supposed to be more absorbable to the horse..more expensive then most supplements but you aren't giving as much either..just an eye dropper full twice a day but admittedly it goes quick. I used it on an older horse (16) but he was also supported with hock injections, for arthritis. Not sure if it was the HA, the hock injections or both but he went a year in between injections and remained sound.

Here is one site:
Buy Horse Hyaluronic Acid Supplements | Equine Care | Hyalun

Clava 10-13-2013 09:12 AM

Most my friends with older horses feed turmeric for stiff joints with great success.

JCnGrace 10-13-2013 10:02 AM

I have my 28 year old on a combination of DC-Y and Fluid Flex. It keeps him comfortable but I don't ride him. This combo also gave a mare I had with ringbone a few more years of pasture soundness before she needed to be euthanized.

Viranh 10-13-2013 11:24 AM

She is 14 and has moderate hock arthritis as seen on x-rays in May. She also had some sort of injury this spring that the vet insisted was also the arthritis, but the obvious lameness came on suddenly and went away after 6 weeks of rest and bute. She was a little stiff prior to the injury, but since I started lessons with her, it is really obvious. She refuses her right lead 90% of the time unless you stop and back her up first, and right lead canter feels pretty strange. She drags her toes some, and you can hear the joint clicking. She's no longer obviously lame or anything, but I can feel that she's stiff back there. The vet does not believe she is at a point where she needs to retire, so everyone is in agreement that doing light dressage with her is good for her. I just hate that I can tell she is still in some pain, and I want to find something that makes her comfortable. I'm just not having a lot of luck finding the right combination I guess.

It sounds like some of you supplement more, so I'll try some more new things, and I think I will try an injected glucosamine alongside the IV HA to see if that's more helpful than oral glucosamine.

Viranh 10-13-2013 11:26 AM

Also, I'm willing to inject her hocks at some point, but trying to find a less expensive combo first. She was not an expensive horse, and I'm not rich, particularly with a chronic laminitic in my equine family. If nothing else works, I will do it because she's perfect for me right now, and I really want a few more years doing dressage out of her.

CLaPorte432 10-13-2013 11:31 AM

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Have you had her looked at by a chiropractor? My mare felt funny cantering and was really off in her hips. Chiro adjusted her, injected B12 and she is much better!

I also have Back On Track Hock Wraps I use. Love them.
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Viranh 10-13-2013 11:41 AM

I've been trying to get her a chiro appointment in hope that might help. I will definitely make sure I do. I've never used a chiro for a horse before, but I have certainly heard good things about them.

I also bought the back on track hock wraps, but I never seem to have the time to acclimate her to them. Maybe I will just start leaving her in them overnight.

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