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What to Do?
My husband and I have 2 horses a paint that needs ground manners but is a great trail horse and really a good horse just a little ornery. The other horse is a 19 year old Quarter Horse, she is such a sweet girl, but she does have arthritis in her back right leg. We really like to go trail riding on the weekends, I work with my paint quite often as he needs more ground manners and hadn't been rode for quite sometime when I got him. We know that exercise helps with the arthritis, but the husband usually works about 55 to 60 hours a week and only gets to ride during the week usually once. The vet has recommended that we use bute, but use really only when she needs it not all of the time..... Since he is more of a weekend warrior and all of my spare time is keeping a paint in check.. Should we consider just getting a different horse that more fits our style. Or is it ok to ride her once a week and then on the weekends like we do, and use bute to help the inflammation. We really would like to just get a third horse and not get rid of her but our acreage is not large enough for that. But we also don't want to just sell her to some random person that isn't going to care for her. Sorry for the lenghty post, just a hard decision to make.
Nodody? Or would everybody have this dilema
Whether or not your horse is ok for weekend riding is something you need to discuss with your vet as he knows the extent of the arthritis. Even without daily riding, if this horse has turnout and moves around this will help with joint mobility. You can also talk to your vet about using Adequan IM to help with joint pain. The initial course requires frequent injections for a month so it's a bit expensive but not nearly what it would cost you to purchase a new horse and then after the first month it will cost about the same as having him on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and will provide better pain relief and joint function than an oral supplement. Then using Bute as needed to prevent serious inflammation on weekends when you are going to trail ride is definitely a reasonable option. It's just like us taking aspirin when we go out to do something physical that we don't normally do. The adverse events associated with bute are dose dependent, meaning that the risks increases with increases in the amount given at one time or increased numbers of consecutive doses. So a single 1-2 gram dose really comes with a very low risk.
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