How To Deal With Joint Pains In Horses
Written by CRM
Friday, 24 July 2020 19:02
How To Deal With Joint Pains In Horses

Just like humans, horses also suffer from joint pains as they get older. They may show signs of stiffness or lameness in their joints, making them move differently and unwilling to perform tasks that they used to do in the past. Typically, these conditions may be caused by chronic inflammation, which can result in permanent degradation of the cartilage in the horses’ joints. These are known as horse arthritis.

When this happens, your horse may suffer from intense pain. Luckily, with the advent of management options and medical treatments nowadays, they can remain active and have a better quality of life.

Keep reading this article to know how you can best manage joint pains in your horses:

Use Some Medical Treatments

As mentioned, several medical treatments can be used to slow down the cycle of inflammation in your horses’ joints. Some of these treatments are NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs are effective at reducing swelling, pain, and, more importantly, inflammation. These can include phenylbutazone and firocoxib, among many others.

However, given the increasing number of options to choose from, you should be careful in picking the right treatment based on the severity of the problem and the part of the joints affected. If possible, talk to your veterinarian to help you determine what's more likely to work for your horses. That way, you can avoid any side effects.

Try Alternative Joint Supplements

Aside from prescription medications, there are also alternative joint supplements that may help treat joint pains in horses. These alternatives are all-natural options and have the same level of effectiveness as traditional arthritis medications. They may also be useful in reducing inflammation and alleviating pain and swelling in your horses. Some joint supplements can include CBD, glucosamine, and hyaluronic acid.   

However, if you want to learn more about horse arthritis and how these supplements can help treat this condition, check out some reliable resources online.

Keep Your Horses' Diet In Check

If you want a natural way of dealing with joint pain in horses, keeping their diet in check can be an excellent option. You can do this by feeding them with food rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known for having anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce levels of inflammation, pain, and swelling. Moreover, you can incorporate foods high in natural vitamin E into your horses' diet. These may promote healthy muscles and nerve tissues, and help develop a strong immune system.

Through a healthy diet, you can prevent your horses from getting overweight, which may worsen the symptoms of joint pain. The extra strain on the horses' joints because of being overweight may increase pain and inflammation.

Determine The Best Exercise Program For Your Horses

Keeping your horses moving can also be a good way to deal with their joint pains. With some exercises in place, you'll be able to nourish their joints, strengthen their muscles and tendons, and slow down their joints' wear and tear. Thus, if you want to make this happen, work with your veterinarian to develop the best exercise program for them. Besides you, they know exactly what your arthritic horses need to remain active and enjoy a good quality of life.

So, be careful in choosing new exercises for them, such as long reigning, trail riding, hill work, and interval training. If possible, start slowly and keep an eye for any signs of discomfort or injury that may happen along the way.

Use Appropriate Footing For Your Horses

Similar to humans, horses with arthritis should have the appropriate footing to reduce the level of their joint pains. For instance, when your horses don't use appropriate footing, stepping on hard surfaces can cause their joints to pound. On the one hand, if the ground is too soft, this subjects their joints to strains. 

Hence, whether they're used for riding or turnout, you should provide their feet with some protection to minimize the inflammation. Some great options you have in this regard include shipping boots, bell boots, splint boots, and polo wraps. 

Trim Your Horses' Hooves Regularly

Horses with arthritis experience joint strain on a regular basis. Hence, if you want to help them deal with this condition, have their hooves trimmed regularly. When their feet come with long hooves, they're more susceptible to twist and torque. As a result, their joints may experience wear and tear, which can significantly affect their usual movements.

Final Thoughts

With the tips mentioned above, horses that experience joint pains can still live comfortable lives. But, if you want a better outcome, it's best to have the problem diagnosed early on to prevent further joint damage. Pay close attention to your horses, and don't forget to consult a veterinarian for any diet and management measures to take to keep them happy and healthy as they age.