31 Year old horse with arthritis. Looking to start him on a supplement
First of all, I see there are tons of threads on this exact topic, but my problem is I just don't have the time to read and sort through all of them right now. I'm due to graduate from nursing school in 2 1/2 weeks so it's kind of crunch time for school and as it is, I should be studying for a test on Friday since I'm in cliniclas all day the next 2 days. So, please bare with me!
Here's the story...
We just had the vet out yesterday as Scooter - our 31 year old guy - had a bit of a hoof issue that is taken care of now. He has had arthritis since before we got him 11 years ago, but it never slowed him down until recently and actually quite a bit in the last few months. The vet says we can do 1 gram of bute for 3 days before and 3 days after farrier visits to help him out as he doesn't think he's a bute every day kind of guy yet. We have the pills to do that for the next visit and he's also on 1 gram for four days to help him get through the monkeying we've had to do with the hoof thing. He had his first one yesterday and it has made such a huge difference already. He looks so much more relaxed and moves so much better... It's great.
When the vet was out he also mentioned a glucosamine supplement but warned it could be costly so he didn't get much into it. He said we could think about it. I've done a little research but really don't know what I'm looking for so I'm coming to you guys to see what you recommend and what has worked for you... I've looked at costs and most of them really aren't nearly as expensive as I was anticipating. We really want to get him on something asap to see what it does for him.
I have gathered that glucosamine, chondroiton and MSM are important but I don't know what brands to try, what dosages of each, etc. Any and all help is much appreciated!!!
I will try to be around tomorrow morning and again Friday if you need further info about him, etc :-)
I don't really have any advice on that whole thing but I just wanted to pop in and say hi and let you know that we've missed seeing you around :D.
Aww! Well thank you! I miss spending the time I used to here... School and work have pretty much filled my time.. :( May 13th I'm a free woman though! haha.
I have my old(between 33-38) gelding on this SmartFlex Senior - Equine Joint Supplements from SmartPak Equine he's been on it since September, and he doesn't seem nearly as stiff as he did, even through the winter. Another thing to think about ,if he's not already and if it's possible is 24/7 turn out, standing around in a stall for even just a few hours can make these older guys very stiff :-)
I also use the smartflex senior from smartpack. I use the herb free one because devil's claw (herb included in the normal formulation) can be hard on the digestive tract. My old guy has a nervous sort of personality, so I didn't want to aggravate things. He has been on a joint supplement since I got him (6 yrs now) and it has done wonders for him.
If you want to try and stay lower cost, start him on MSM and see if it makes a difference within a couple of weeks. There are doseage instructions on the package.
In my experience - MSM has worked WONDERS - this of course is going to depend on the severity of your old guys arthritis though.
A months worth of the supplement costs me about $9 here.
Sometimes the simpliest supplements can be the best.. :) I'd personally start there and then add another type of supplement (or switch) depending on how he does.
I can't say enough good things about Adequan personally. I had my 17 year old Arab mare on a few different oral supplements throughout the years (of which I liked Chondrogen EQ the best just fyi!) and while they did seem to help with her joint issues, the Adequan injections have made much more of a difference. She's been on Adequan for at least 3 years now and has not had a single day in that time period that she's been too "off" to ride which would happen occasionally while on oral supplements. It is pretty expensive, however most of the high quality and well regarded oral supplements are costly as well.
Now this may seem like a strange answer, but I have my king shepherd on glucosamine for her joints. I started her off on a liquid glucosamine since its faster acting and easier to digest, then put her on pill format 1 pill 2x per day. Maybe you can find a liquid glucos. for horses, I saw amazing results on my dog. Her hind right knee joint was cracking horribly, it stopped making that noise after approx. a month of administering the liquid glucosamine.
She's now doing great and it's been about 1 year she's been taking the pill format, no problems running around like an idjit lol.
Thank you everyone for your input! I am looking into the SmartFlex Senior right now and am probably going to put an order in. We wanted to get him started on something ASAP though as he's gotten even worse in the last 2 days :(.. So, I picked up a bucket of whatever they had at our local feed store. I don't even remember what it's called, but they only had one choice. Better than nothing I would guess. It's tough to see him going this way. He was doing fine until the farrier came out, then the bute helped, but he's even worse now, so I'm not sure what happened, but we think that with all of the monkeying from the farrier something got hurt. He walked sideways to the barn yesterday, and then once inside he was walking in circles to try to catch himself from falling or something as he leans so far to his left side. However, he cantered part way over to the barn... It's awfully strange. I gave him the first loading dose of the stuff we bought then we kept an eye on him and he seemed OK. Now this morning my dad said he was fine when he went up into the pasture to give him his morning dose of it. I guess it's a wait and see game..
Oh and Rachel - Yes, he's turned out all of the time. He often chooses to stay in the barn with our cow as it's warmer and out of the elements, but he has free choice to go outside into the pasture. Also, as of yesterday my dad opened up the summer pasture to them so they have many many acres to roam now. I'm hoping that this added room and grazing incentive will get him out there moving more and will help him out. As I say, wait and see I guess!
Try Majesty Flex Wafers work wonders! I have my 22 yr. old gelding on them (:
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