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Need Advice: Riding Older Horse with Arthritis

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  • Need Advice: Riding Older Horse with Arthritis

    15.2 gelding that is 19 years old. Came to me with white line and stiffness in back legs. He had a resection in each front hoof and they have completely grown out. The farrier that helped him through that abandoned us and it took months to find one that would come out for one horse trim but finally found one and he has been here twice. Last week he said white line is gone in front hooves but has a very small section in back hoof. Looked the size of a dime, in one spot where there is a crack. Redemption has been out in the field for a year. I stopped all supplementation in November cause it had gotten too expensive for a horse that was basically retried at that time. Now that he is better I'd like to start riding again but he also has arthritis. Vet said it was mild. He is on Previcoxx which doesn't seem to help much in the way of the stiffness. I read alfalfa might aggravate joint issues. Is it possible that the alfalfa pellets vet recommended for him actually worsen his arthritis? And is there any supplement that is otc that can help us enjoy light trail riding. We will get back into it slowly so he is not stressed but he needs something to help his flexibility and pain. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Tumeric, fresh ground black pepper and coconut oil might help with inflammation and arthritis. Find FB Tumeric users group and join. Lots of information.

    Comment


    • #3
      Have you talked to your vet about injecting his hocks and then putting him on Pentosan? That's what I did for my 24 year old. I just did the outer hock joints and waited to see if that would be sufficient. Then I did the four loading doses of Pentosan.
      Six weeks ago, we needed a stud chain to keep him from rearing while his front feet were shod, because his hocks were so painful. Last week, he was shod and offered hardly a murmur.
      I think you'd come out cheaper in the long run doing this than spending money on this supplement and then that one and seeing if it made a difference. Or not.
      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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      • #4
        Can you get him assessed by a bodyworker as well? If some of the stiffness is due to postural habits instead of just joint pain you may be able to add some stretches to his routine.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Redemption3 View Post
          15.2 gelding that is 19 years old.
          Now that he is better I'd like to start riding again but he also has arthritis. Vet said it was mild. He is on Previcoxx which doesn't seem to help much in the way of the stiffness. I read alfalfa might aggravate joint issues. Is it possible that the alfalfa pellets vet recommended for him actually worsen his arthritis? And is there any supplement that is otc that can help us enjoy light trail riding. We will get back into it slowly so he is not stressed but he needs something to help his flexibility and pain.
          If you are not 100% sure what you are dealing with, it can be difficult to know how to proceed.

          So, on that note, I would suggest you take the horse in for a full lameness evaluation, with flexions and x-rays, to see exactly what you are dealing with. And then treat accordingly.



          It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by beau159 View Post
            If you are not 100% sure what you are dealing with, it can be difficult to know how to proceed.

            So, on that note, I would suggest you take the horse in for a full lameness evaluation, with flexions and x-rays, to see exactly what you are dealing with. And then treat accordingly.
            Very sensible sound advice.

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            • #7
              I have had great success with HA (hyaluronic acid) for arthritis. I've mentioned this before--It worked so well for my mare that I use it myself. I tried going off of it a couple of times and found that I could not walk without pain. As long as I'm taking it I barely notice I have arthritis in my feet and ankles.

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              • #8
                You need to do a good SOAP on the horse. Then you can decide what, if anything, it is suited for.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                • #9
                  Monthly injection of Pentaussie is an affordable and effective option, should your vet agree. Good luck with your horse!

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                  • #10
                    I really like the Smartflex Senior pellets from Smartpak for senior support. I agree Pentosan (which is compounded and you can obtain from Wedgewood Pharmacy with a Rx from your vet) is a good option but also joint specific injections are usually the most helpful.

                    Also, please keep in mind that sometimes one Equioxx/Previcox tablet is not enough and the dose may need to be increased to 1.5 or 2 tablets for day for sufficient arthritis control.

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                    • #11
                      Have you tried Equinety? The stuff is simply amazing! It's $99 for a three month supply but when you break that down on a daily basis, it's cheap. You will see a noticeable difference in him within three to four weeks. Check out their website and research the reviews. I am a believer in the product.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by beau159 View Post

                        If you are not 100% sure what you are dealing with, it can be difficult to know how to proceed.

                        So, on that note, I would suggest you take the horse in for a full lameness evaluation, with flexions and x-rays, to see exactly what you are dealing with. And then treat accordingly.

                        ^ 100x this. I have an 18yo pony with light arthritis and a stiff stifle. I was able to design a training program for her with the help of her vet to keep her strong and healthy and help her continue to age like the graceful unicorn that she is. I had the full lameness evaluation done by the vet, and then had a chiro and equine massage therapist out for a second and third opinion. All recommendations were pretty consistent, so I feel confident continuing our rides, knowing they are helping keep her fit and comfortable.

                        She is on a pretty high dose of Omega 3, 6 and 9, it helps inflammation so it is good for managing her heaves and stiff joints. It also makes her mane, tail and coat gorgeous

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Even the most expensive joint supplements are minimally effective compared to injections. If you are on a budget, you'll get better results with injections every 6 months vs a monthly supplement.
                          Equestrian and Sporting Oil Paintings
                          www.laurenfanning.com
                          Roxy 2001 APHA, Al Amir 2005 OTTB,
                          Ten Purposes 2009 OTTB

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                            You need to do a good SOAP on the horse. Then you can decide what, if anything, it is suited for.

                            G.
                            what does SOAP mean?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Redemption3 View Post

                              what does SOAP mean?
                              Assume this

                              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOAP_note
                              How is your horse doing a year later?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you for asking Shortly after I posted this I had offered him for adoption to a couple who wanted to use him occasionally for therapy for their baby grandchild . They were told of the arthritis and the Previcoxx and kept him on Previcoxx but they boarded him in a large pasture board situation with many other horses and he started to abscess through his coronary band due, I think, from a poor farrier job and a crowded pasture with no shelter Next month I will have my vet x-ray his front hooves. He came back to me in January and since then I have tried several different products and took him off Previcoxx. Buteless Performance has helped him immensely with the arthritis - as well as Easy Boot Clouds on his fronts. Tried a mineral supplement called Equine Leg Magic and I thought it was helping but there is no difference between now that he finished it and before he started it. The improvement has been the Easy Boot Clouds and the Buteless Performance. I ordered Farrier's Formula 2X for him but it hasn't arrived yet. He was on that before and it helped his hooves grow out quickly and gain strength. I think if we get the abscessing stopped, he will be fine for light riding with riding boots , like Easy Boot trail or similar.
                                I should add that his hooves had deteriorated considerably between the time he was adopted and the time he came back which is why the boots help him.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I was told that to keep the old horse moving, you had to keep the old horse moving. Light trail work on mostly flat would be helpful. Hills going up might be hard but going down are very hard and depending on how bad his arthritis is, could be painful as well.

                                  My farrier rolled the toes on my one older mare's shoes and that helped her break over easier. He was very careful to study how she went and really worked to make her comfy. She was in light to medium work until right before she passed at 31. My last horse, had his hind shoes with slightly rolled toes and had pads. Same farrier as my mare. I also fed him fresh ground flax every day and some other nutraceuticals to help with the arthritis. Also glucosamine might help.
                                  "Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
                                  - John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)

                                  Don't come for me - I didn't send for you.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Redemption3 View Post

                                    what does SOAP mean?
                                    Scribbler called it!!!

                                    Treatment without a diagnosis runs two risks: first, you don't actually deal with the problem. Sometimes you kill a problem with a shotgun, but sometimes you need a rifle. Or maybe just an Xacto knife. Or maybe just a big bottle of Tincture of Time. Use the wrong thing and not only do you not solve the problem you have you created other ones. Second, you can empty your bank account on the useless so that when you finally DO figure out the problem you lack the resources to deal with it.

                                    WAY too many people in these waters (and elsewhere) follow the "do something, even if it's wrong" approach to vet. care. This is monumentally foolish and wasteful and carries great risk for the horse. Act, but act smart. A good SOAP is the First Step on the road to "smart."

                                    G.
                                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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