Joint Supplements: what do you like best for maintenance?
My coming 9 yr old Paint/QH mare and I have been in our (new) eventing career now for a little over 2 years. She absolutely loves to jump and I have been working especially on our dressage, to really get more engagement from the hindquarter. I have been advised to look into joint supplements now, as she works harder, since she is a little straighter behind and because she has a slight downhill build. Maintenance wise, I think it is a good idea. What products have you found the most success with? Of course I would rather not spend a fortune, BUT if the more expensive choices really do work better, I am willing to go that road for my mare. Thanks!
MSM. I would always start there and see if you need more than that.
I am fostering a horse right now that raced 66 times. He looked a bit stiff to me when he first arrived and I added MSM to his diet. Now, he's also on 24/7 turnout and in a good program now, but he looks better to me. His hocks looked a bit sticky and he looked a tiny bit off on his right front and those both look very good now.
I have been giving Hyluran (sp?), which is a hyluranic acid liquid that you squirt into the horse's mouth daily. I found that Big Dee's has it for the best price.
However, due to my mare's injuries sustained at camp, Dr. Mason wants to start her on Flextra, which is made by the folks at Hagyard Equine in Lexington. It has more than just the Hyluranic acid in it. He wanted me to start Adequan, but I will not give shots. He said that the Flextra should work just fine, but might take a bit longer.
Dr. Mason took x-rays of my mare's front, left fetlock joint to make certain that she did not have any bone chips, along with the other injuries. He said that she had the fetlock joint of a "two year old"! I have been giving Hyluran for a couple of years. Unfortunately, the change to Flextra is because of the slight, fiber shredding of her tendon, which was found on ultrasound. She did sprain the tendons on all of her legs, but the left was the worst and most obvious.
I will be scratching two events today. Luckily, I was able to get the diagnosis before closing day for both events.
The Vet who spoke at camp believes, from reading studies, that Adequan is the most effective to give to ward off joint issues. She liked Hyluran, which is less expensive, than Adequan. She said that Pentosan for horses older than 12 was a good choice, instead of Adequan. She said that Cosequin seems to be effective, too. She did not mention the one from Smart Pac.
I've been very happy with the Flextra HA from Hagyard which was recommended by my vet as an alternative to hock injections (an 11 year old with known mild arthritis). He's been on it for over 3 months now. He's been jumping more and showing no signs of stiffness or soreness. I actually sold him last week. He passed the pre purchase exam with flying colors, and he'd gone cross country schooling a week before the exam.
After the loading dose it costs around $30/month. I am not big on supplements in general, but I really do think this one is worth it.