Is That Horse a Good Candidate for Joint Nutraceuticals?

Best Responders:

  • Synovitis (thickened joint membrane).

  • Joint effusions (increased joint fluid).

  • Minimal bony changes (osteophytes) on X-rays.

  • Early diagnosis.

  • Favorable response to hyaluronic acid or Adequan injections.

Incomplete Or Poor Responders:

  • Decreased or uneven joint space on X-ray.

  • Advanced bone changes on X-rays.

  • Damage to stabilizing ligaments (for example collateral ligaments) or soft tissue structures within the joint (for instance meniscus or collateral ligaments in the stifle).

  • Unresolved hoof balance or shoeing issues.

  • Infectious problems (for example Lyme disease).

Therapeutic Dosage Range For Joint Nutraceuticals — 400 kg (1,100 lb .) horse

  • Glucosamine — 7.5 to 10 grams once a day.

  • Chondrotin — 5,000 to 6,000 mg one a day.

  • Hyaluronic acid — 100 to 300 mg once a day (higher dose for very inflamed joints). Works best as a paste or liquid.

Joint Supplements: What Ingredients Do You Want?

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are the core joint supplement ingredients. They can slow joint breakdown and encourage return to normal production of cartilage compounds and joint fluid. Studies have found that the combination of these ingredients works better than either one alone.

  • Hyaluronic acid functions similarly to glucosamine and chondroitin, but really excels in calming obvious inflammation in “angry,” hot, inflamed joints.

  • Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is actually inflammatory. You want a molecular weight of at least 500,000 daltons. This information won’t be on the label. Check with the manufacturer.

  • Cetyl myristoleate hit the headlines in the early 1990s based on a mouse study, but subsequent studies have not confirmed…

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Eleanor Kellon VMD

Eleanor Kellon, VMD, is the staff veterinary specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition.

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