Horse joint injections are all too common in today’s equine world and one of the main reasons why I opted to go to the opposite side and seek alternative options, as a veterinarian. The most common reason for use of a joint injection is joint disease, arthritis, with the intent or purpose to alleviate pain and prolong or improve performance. In many, use of a joint injection is warranted in one horse while in another, not so much. In either case, if we do decide to go that route, with an injection, you need to understand the pros, the cons and what options are before you to help extend the effects of those injections. After all, a joint injection is not cheap and does not come without harm. (more…)
Tag Archives: joint pain
Lameness and discomfort are very common in our canine companions, especially as they get older, but a cruciate ligament injury often tops the list. Cruciate injuries are not specific to the older dog, but more common in any aged pet, especially if they are large breed and active. Given the high prevalence of these types of injuries, the expense and inconvenience behind cage resting, we have to dig deeper to determine possible contributors and how proper supplementation could be implemented to improve the odds of a full recovery. (more…)
The horse is a complex creature, subject to many of the same constraints that we put on ourselves, which in the end impacts their health and performance. Each horse is unique in their personality and constitution, which plays a major role in the exact contributors to their particular health and lameness concerns. Diet, environment, stress, conformation and other influences each play a part, but in most health conditions, we do have one common denominator, which is inflammation. In most, the inflammatory response is over expressed and if efforts are put into the equation to balance that response, then health and soundness can be easier to obtain.
Joint disease is a common manifestation of life, aging and often a result of many contributing factors including conformation, deformities and repetitive overuse. In the horse, joint pain is common not only with aging due to deterioration and arthritis, but is also present in the younger group secondary to high levels of stress to the areas associated with training and competition. In all groups, we have an often daily dependence on pain medications, but in the horse, this progresses one step further to include a joint injection, which is repeated quite often to help keep the athlete competing. In many respects, we have come to accept these therapies as the only means of management, but are they really helping and is there more that can be done? Is it also possible that some of these therapies, despite good intentions, may be creating more harm in the end to our equine companion? With further knowledge, we can understand better and consider different options. (more…)
When we think of inflammation in the horse, it is often in the form of pain and swelling. Joint pain, stiffness, a wound or cut, sore back, sore throat, or even a skin infection. All of this is true and these conditions are associated with inflammation, but the overall concept goes much deeper, often being unrecognized clinically but all too closely tied with other health conditions. In the horse, chronic inflammation is linked back to lameness conditions with the tendons, joints and poor hoof health. It is also involved in metabolic conditions, including insulin resistance, allergies and uveitis. It is an important concept to grasp, even on the most basic level, as with this understanding, we have opportunities to intervene which may give us more opportunities to manage and even prevent certain conditions. (more…)
Daily aches and pains are one of the biggest problems in the horse or equine athlete. The aches and pains are often associated with degenerative joint disease or arthritis, on many levels with resulting cartilage degeneration. Most horse owners resort to traditional joint therapies, including glucosamine and chondroitin, in addition to various pain medications or joint injections to help control pain. Despite these efforts, many are still seeking options to help their horse to get to the next level of comfort. Let’s take a look at what is going on and what other options may be available. (more…)
A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Abstract (Chandran B., Goel A., Phytothera. Res 2012) Curcumin is known to possess potent antiinflammatory and antiarthritic properties. This pilot clinical study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of curcumin alone, and in combination with diclofenac sodium in patients with active rheumatoid […]
The equine athlete is no different from us, as a human species, whether we are an athlete or not in our daily lives. As individuals and living beings, we are in-tuned, in most instances, as to how different stressers, diets and activities impact our health and general well being. For instance, we may know that spicy food may upset our stomachs or create a sense of heat in our bodies. Or we may understand that over-exertion, whether physically or mentally, drains us of vital energy. Given these apparent observations, why is it that we can listen to our own bodies and heed warnings, but when it comes to our equine companions, often we do not?
Osteoarthritis is a disease affecting all species and can affect almost any joint in the body. The condition affects up to 70% of the humans, upwards of 60% of pets dependent on breed and approximately 70% of horses dependent on age and use. It is a debilitating problem, causing not only pain and discomfort, but decreased range of motion, loss of use and decreased quality of life, not to mention decreased performance for the athlete. The question comes as to how to best manage this condition with our eyes set on prevention.
In today’s equine world, there is so much focus on joint health and conditioning, that we tend to forget about the bigger picture. As a veterinarian, I see so much over use, almost bordering on abuse, of various pharmaceutical medications and equine joint supplements. So many people use them, that at times, I wonder if we are actually trying to manage a condition or more so if the increased use is more to follow what another is doing, almost making it a trend without purpose. Now, I will be honest and say that many of these equine supplements and medications can prove useful in certain situations, but overall, I feel they are being overused at times, trying to accomplish things they were never intended to do.