Osteoarthritis in horses: treatment

Osteoarthritis in horses: treatment

Sep 21, 2023Valerie De Clerck

How to treat your horse with 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.

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 joint 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 trimmed 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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