How to treat osteoarthritis in horses?


HOW TO TREAT OSTEOARTHRITIS IN HORSES

The most common cause of lameness in horses: osteoarthritis, a painful inflammation of the joint. This type of inflammation gradually causes wear and tear and leads to damage to the bone and cartilage. Your equine friend’s ligaments stiffen, and the joint becomes less flexible. The more advanced the osteoarthritis, the less you will be able to do about it. So, swift action is key!

This is how you help a horse suffering from osteoarthritis:


1. Make the right diagnosis
Do you suspect that your horse might be suffering from osteoarthritis? Don’t go it alone but contact your vet and have your horse examined, just to make sure. Don’t go it alone but contact your vet and have your horse examined, just to make sure.

2. Treat the inflammation
It is essential to get the pain and the inflammation of the joint under control as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to the cartilage. The vet will inject anti-inflammatories in the joint or put him on an anti-inflammatory diet. Keen to go the extra mile? Give him natural, anti-inflammatory supplements.

3. Ensure your horse gets exercise
Exercise is the one way to lubricate your horse’s joints! Start with daily hand-walks and build up gradually. Don’t even think about riding him until your vet and your horse give you the go-ahead. In some horses, the osteoarthritis is so far advanced that riding them is no longer an option.

4. Organise physiotherapy and osteopathy
These therapies not only help to keep your horse’s muscles and ligaments flexible but will also alleviate the pain.

5. Maintain a healthy body weight
Horses that are overweight put excessive strain on their joints.

6. Look after your horse’s hooves
Properly shod hooves are instrumental in ensuring that the load on the joints is evenly distributed.

7. Provide a peaceful environment
It is important to let your horse choose when he wants to go for a walk. So, regularly let him out into the paddock. Choose a peaceful environment where he is not being chased by other horses


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