All about Equine Joint Supplements
Reasons for Feeding a Joint Supplement for Horses
An equine joint supplement may help to maintain healthy joint tissue for normal mobility, allowing your horse to lead an active life. It may also help to assist with symptoms, such as stiffness and poor mobility, of degenerative joint diseases.
Coping with Arthritis in Horses
Arthritis in horses is one of the most common forms of equine joint disease and mainly affects older horses. Arthritis is caused by degradation in joint cartilage – this can be from hard work, wear and tear, or simply a result of old age - which results in friction from the rubbing of bone on bone. This friction causes the joint tissues to become inflamed which leads to visible signs such as swelling, stiffness and lameness.
Equine Arthritis Treatment – Veterinary
It is not possible to cure arthritis in horses, but the symptoms can be managed to improve the quality of life. Vets advise equine arthritis treatment through pain relief; non-steroid anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) such as Bute. Joint injections are an expensive, but effective option to aid joint lubrication. Surgery to remove damaged cartilage is an extreme equine arthritis treatment and should be viewed as a last resort.
Equine Joint Supplement Ingredients
Equine Glucosamine: Glucosamine HCL has been shown to stimulate cells to manufacture all of the key cartilage mechanisms. This enhances the body’s lubricants, shock absorbers and structural elements, helping to maintain healthy joints.
MSM for Horses: MSM or methylsulphonylmethane is an organic sulfur, which is widely utilized by the body in the formation of connective tissue. Used in combination with equine glucosamine it has shown successful results with relief for joint pain and inflammation.
Hyaluronic Acid for Horses: HA or Hyaluronic Acid is present in every tissue of the body and is seen most in the synovial fluid, which surrounds the joints. This fluid is needed to serve as a lubricant, shock absorber and also carrying nutrients to help protect the joints. The synovial fluid is also important in the maintenance of cartilage again supporting the bones.
Chondroitin for Horses: Chondroitin sulfate is an important structural component of cartilage and provides much of its resistance to compression. It is composed of a chain of sugars and is usually found attached to proteins. Glucosamine is often combined in supplements with chondroitin for horses, dogs and human joint care.
Green Lipped Mussel for Horses: The green lipped mussel contains a unique profile of soothing Omega 3 PUFAs, called eicosatetraenoic acids (ETAs) which have potent but natural anti-inflammatory properties. GLM contains a range of chondroprotective nutrients, including glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) and chondroitin sulphate which make up the building blocks of joint structure. The combination of Omega 3 ETAs and chondroprotective nutrients help to visibly reduce the signs of joint problems and support long term joint maintenance.
Finding the Best Equine Joint Supplement for your Horse
There are so many horse supplements for joints available on the market that it is difficult to choose which one is right for your horse. Follow these steps to find the best equine joint supplement for your horse:
1. Objectives: When buying an equine joint supplement, first set clear objectives: are you looking for a product to ease stiffness or to help maintain long term joint health?
2. Research: Do your research and find out which ingredients fit your objectives.
3. Review: Once you have shortlisted a few potential products, ask around your vet, farrier and people on the yard to gauge the success of each product.
One of the most popular ingredient combinations to provide long term support is glucosamine chondroitin. For horses, this works very well to boost natural levels of glucosamine and chondroitin found in the horse’s body, helping to maintain healthy cartilage and connective tissue.