I need to invest some money into joint care for my 16 yo TB gelding, but I'm having a hard time deciding where I'll get the most bang for my buck. My vet has recommended Platinum Performance CJ because of the numerous studies on ASU, but Adequan is also a proven favorite. His hocks are the main issue, though recent x-rays have shown some early signs of changes in his right front.
We used to event together, but now my goal is just for him to be comfortable for 3-4 light rides per week.
When I was consulting our local (Tryon) surgical vet about ongoing joint treatment, he shared his view that putting something directly into the joint - i.e., the site of the problem - is more effective than doing something intramuscular that just doesn't have as targeted an impact, but intramuscular is more effective than feeding a supplement that has a more general effect on the overall body. Just passing that along... it seemed to make sense to me. I'm sure you'll get lots of opinions and not all of them will agree with this!
It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.
I would agree that the most bang for your buck will come from injecting the medicine right into the joint where it is needed. I always prefer to try the least invasive approach first and a loading dose of Adequan would be money better spent than the CJ. Hopefully that will give him relief. The most current protocol with Adequan is to give a loading dose twice a year.
Though people (myself included) have had as good or better results with Pentosan--and it's markedly cheaper than Adequan. (I used to do the Adequan protocol, loading dose and maintenance dose--before Pentosan came along.)
I gave up on the "feed supplement joint support" years ago; minimal results and mostly expensive manure Cosequin ASU is the only one of these supplements with proven results, so if I were you I would go with the injectables. The one advantage of Pentosan (or Adequan) is that "it goes where they need it", as opposed to hock injections, which address only the DJD in that particular joint. Most horses at that age have arthritis in a variety of places, so "treating the whole horse" only makes sense; if you don't get an overall improvement in his comfort level?, then consider hock injections.
Legend is also a wonderful thing, if your pockets are deep enough
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
"It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")
Frankly, I would ask your vet about what his/her recommendation is and why.
In talking with one of my horse's vets he said that Adequan and Legend IV sometimes didn't provide much relief for certain types of hock issues, and unfortunately it was the type of hock issue that my horse has. He advocated directly injecting the joint and basically felt it was up to me to decide about using oral supplements as an additional therapy. Joint injections did not completely alleviate what was going on with my horse, so I was open to trying something more.
My horse's other vet likes the PP CJ, but told me that if I try it, I should see some difference in the horse in the first month or else it probably isn't going to do much for my particular horse. We're still on the first month of the PP CJ and the jury's still out.
"The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky