My 13 year old Arab/Saddlebred has DJD in both front fetlocks. We have successfully given him IRAP treatments twice now. The first treatment lasted just under a year, the second almost 16 months. He is a completely different horse after each treatment. Currently he is healthier/more fit than he has ever been and has been training for 2nd level dressage. However, now he is lame again and repeating IRAP was suggested. I know it works, but my question is, am I doing the right thing to continue to administer this treatment and show him, or is it time for him to take on a more leisurely role? My worry is that once he stops showing and we discontinue this expensive treatment, how do I care for arthritic pain and keep him comfortable? 13 is very young for an Arab, so I have a lot to consider. Any suggestions?
Well I don't think there is not a right or a wrong answer. I think you have to think about what is important you and what you think is important to your horse. IRAP is great, I had had some great success using it for DJD, but sadly it can only buy you time. Horses with arthritis whom are managed sound often do well in consistent low level exercise. A lower level job may allow your horse more years of manageable comfort where intense work may break him quicker. I think if it were me I may do the IRAP and adequan and perhaps have previcoxx on hands and maybe think about a semi retired low level or trail horse but if you feel your horse desires to continue at second level dressage there is nothing wrong with trying to keep him managed sound as long as possible. Good Luck, and just do what feels best to you as only you know your horse the best.
Thanks. He is on Adequan and a daily dose of Equithrive. We also include monthly massages. And keeping his feet correct; these are all important parts of the equation. I used to use Previcox in the winter but now with the Equithrive he doesn't need it.