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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32 December 2018 The Horse | and dog studies firmly support that extra weight negatively affects arthritis patients. "Every pound of extra weight in humans results in a 4-pound increase in forces on the knee," she says. "And after an 11-18% decrease in body weight, dogs with hip OA experienced less lameness and increased life spans. Because OA is comparable among dogs, humans, and horses, similar benefits associated with weight loss and OA would be expected in horses." Achieving weight loss in horses, similar to other mammals, boils down to expend- ing more energy than what is being consumed. In most cases a combination of exercise and decreased feed intake forms the foundation of weight manage- ment. One of the key factors for success is owner recognition of appropriate body weight, which can be challenging. A management change that can en- courage weight loss, as well as help your arthritic horse feel better, is increased pasture turnout. Movement minimizes the classic stiffness horses with joint disease might display at the start of exercise. Also avoid intermittent exercise sessions. If possible, continue working horses with OA routinely—even just lightly—to keep them fit and pliable. Q What should I know about joint injections? Falling under the umbrella of phar- maceutical management of OA, joint injections remain a popular option, particularly for owners of equine athletes that are still competing. "Intra-articular (in the joint) therapy often provides the most 'bang for your buck,' but only when used once an accu- rate diagnosis of OA has been made while also assessing the affected joint, severity of disease, age and use of the horse, and po- tential underlying causes or contributing factors," says Contino. Products typically used intra-articularly include corticoste- roids, which, says Contino, remain the "cornerstone for managing joint disease and for a good reason." These products include betamethasone, methylpredniso- lone acetate, and perhaps the king of the hill, triamcinolone. Product selection var- ies depending on your veterinarian's pref- erence, the amount to be administered, and if it's a high- or low-motion joint. Other injectable products include so- dium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), poly- sulfated glycosaminoglycan, bisphospho- nates (only FDA-approved for managing horses diagnosed with disease involving the navicular apparatus), and biological or regenerative therapies such as stem cells, IRAP (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist), and platelet-rich plasma. The use of stem cells and platelet-rich plasma for OA remains relatively unproven at this point, as no real treatment protocols or rules on how to use these products exist. It is, how- ever, a very active field of research, and some veterinarians currently use these technologies to treat horses with OA. The decision when to pursue intra- articular treatments must be made on a case-by-case basis with your veterinarian. Equine Osteoarthritis "A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of resveratrol administration in performance horses with lameness localized to the distal tarsal joints." – Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association September 15, 2016, Vol. 249, No. 6, Pages 650-659 *Equithrive Original & Complete Joint formulas T H E O N LY S U P P L E M E N T S CLINICALLY PROVEN TO REDUCE HOCK LAMENESS. All products also available in new, pelleted form.

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