The Horse

DEC 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 28 of 51 | The Horse December 2018 29 Osteoarthritis (OA), which used to be known as degenerative joint disease, can affect any joint where two cartilage-covered bones meet— called an articular joint. In sport/athletic horses we often think of OA affecting the joints in the limbs, such as hocks, knees, stifles, and fetlocks. Classic signs include heat, swelling due to excess joint fluid, lameness/pain, stiffness, deformation caused by bony changes, and crepitus—that pop- ping, grinding, and crackling sound and sensation in an affected joint. "The knees, (fetlocks), hocks, and stifles are in fact some of the most common joints diagnosed with OA in horses, but any articular joint can be impacted, including the multitude of individual joints along the length of the spine, hips, and even the jaw or temporomandibular joint," says Sheila Laverty, DVM, MVB, Dipl. ACVS, ECVS, equine surgery professor and equine surgery service chief at the University of Montreal's School of Veterinary Medicine, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Laverty also heads the school's Comparative Or- thopaedic Research Laboratory, which she says is committed to improving joint health in all species. STACEY OKE, DVM, MSC Y ou, the horse owner, asked, and we listened: Arthritis is an extremely common condition that continues to frustrate you, in terms of both short- and long-term management. Be- fore answering some of your top ques- tions about the latest developments in this field, let's review the condition. Arthritis simply means joint inflammation. In horses several types of arthritis can occur, with causes ranging from infection to age and years of athletic use. Typically, however, owners use the word arthritis in lieu of osteoarthritis—a chronic, progressive, painful degeneration of the cartilage lining the ends of long bones inside joints, as well as the underlying bone and soft tissues. Learn more about this common crippling condition that affects horses of all breeds, disciplines, and ages What You Need to Know About Equine Osteoarthritis SHELLEY PAULSON

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