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Does A Joint Supplement Actually Do Anything??

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  • Does A Joint Supplement Actually Do Anything??

    I know this thread should be in Horse Care but I wanted to talk to eventers mainly.

    I just bought a 13 yr old TB mare. I have always had my event horses on joint supplements. Last event horse was 20 yrs old so you could see a little bit of diffrence when he was on a joint supplement. But for a horse that doesnt have any soundness issues, and is competeing at prelim. Do joint supplements do that much? And if they do, who much, and are they worth giving? Is it worth not giving a oral joint supplement and instead give adequan or legend?

    I am a part time college student and paying for my own horses so anywhere I can spair to spend money is much needed.

    I do think MSM works and notice a difference, but all the others, Cosequin, SmartFlex, ect., are they worth the $30-$50+ a month?
    "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton

  • #2
    MSM is the only feed thru joint supplement that has studies showing it does work. However, all other feed thru joint supplements are not proven. My vet feels that Adequan or legend is a better option, she says it won't hurt to feed joint supplements and MAY help, but no definitive proof. All my horses that compete or work hard get MSM daily but no other feed supplements.
    www.shawneeacres.net

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    • #3
      If you are looking to save money, I would not spend it on Cosequin, etc. MSM I would (and it's cheap), and I think Adequan is worthwhile too.

      Comment


      • #4
        When you do the math, I believe that Adequan is about $40 per month (after the loading dose) and you KNOW they received the ENTIRE amount. Get someone to teach you to do IM injections and you're set!
        Yes, I ride a pony. No, he would not be ideal for your child. No, he is not a re-sale project...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by shawneeAcres View Post
          MSM is the only feed thru joint supplement that has studies showing it does work. However, all other feed thru joint supplements are not proven. My vet feels that Adequan or legend is a better option, she says it won't hurt to feed joint supplements and MAY help, but no definitive proof. All my horses that compete or work hard get MSM daily but no other feed supplements.
          ditto 100%

          I also do only MSM and then an injection.
          Actually I use Legend. IV, once a month.
          That and actual joint injections for hocks if they flex hot.
          Adequan is only proven for the loading dose--not monthly.
          http://kaboomeventing.com/
          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

          Comment


          • #6
            I had a 14yr old TB mare that had a partially fused hock, I gave her SmartFlex Repair and it worked wonders. She was never sore, lame or stiff on it. I tried Cosiquin SP first and it didn't do anything. I am not big on feeding spendy supplements, but I definitely recommend SmartFlex Repair for any horse because it is both a tendon supplement as well as a joint supplement.
            Eventingismylife
            http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

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            • #7
              Sounds like a lot of good advice. I don't have much personal experience with Adequan/Legend.

              FWIW, my 16 y.o. 3/4 TB 1/4 Trak. mare does really well with an oral supplement that has some joint stuff (MSM, Glucosamine/Chondroitin) but also has biotin, probiotics and multi-vitamin combo. She also gets her hocks injected 1x a year. I really feel that the supplement is worth the $. The over-all improvement in her physical condition seems to make her go better (better movement, flexibility, attitude, coat, hooves, etc).

              I understand your situation. I paid for my mare all through college (full time) by babysitting, mucking, etc. I did pay for this supplement, though. It tipped the scale from "good" to "great."

              Hope you find a combo that works for you!
              "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by eventingismylife View Post
                I had a 14yr old TB mare that had a partially fused hock, I gave her SmartFlex Repair and it worked wonders. S
                I just want to second the quality of the SmartPak brand supplements in general. I have been very pleased with them and they are substantially less expensive in most cases.
                "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

                Comment


                • #9
                  I suspect that deltawave will weigh in here with her comments on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of joint supplements, and also whether or not it's worth the money to do it--based on the hard evidence , but the general consensus is that joint supplements are SO variable (in terms of the amounts of the "active ingredients" that are actually IN the supplement) that feeding them is pretty much a crap shoot. And possibly a waste of money, but it depends. Apparently Cosequin ASU has been proven to be one of the few joint supplements that actually has clinical evidence on its side. You need to get it from a vet (or have a vet's script) so it is on the pricey side. MSM is a pretty good bet (has some evidence that it does help), and is quite affordable. Cheap, actually! Of course there is some anecdotal evidence that it makes some horses "spooky" (though in my horse's case--who has been on it for 4-5 years now--EVERYTHING is an excuse for her to be spooky, so as much as I would *like* to blame the MSM, oh well.)

                  I now save my money on feed supplements, and instead use both Legend and Adequan (which have different and complementary effects; a "one two punch", as it were), since they have been proven to work, and I do notice a difference in my horse when she is on them. Or since she has been on them. As for their "prophylactic value", I have to say that I have had my mare on both of these for several years, and she was aggressively flexed on all 4 legs, all joints, and jogged out--barefoot and on gravel--about a year and a half ago (for reasons unrelated to any lameness: primarily an overzealous and bill padding vet who was trying to "diagnose" a tight muscle by giving my horse a full out lameness exam. Can we say "bill padding" here?!? Oy.) Anyway, she got a zero out of zero on flexions. And at the time, was a coming 10 year old who was about to bump up to Prelim.

                  IMO, I feel it has been worth the money for Legend and Adequan, and would (and do) recommend the protocol to all of my students who have horses in hard, full work. (My last horse--a giant TB gelding who was VERY hard on his joints--NEEDED this. My present horse? If it makes her happy and healthy and as sound as she can be, it's worth the money, in my book! Luckily my vet provides me with a script, so I can order them wholesale and give them myself. Highly recommend doing this if you have a cooperative vet; it will save you a ton of $$.)
                  "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")

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VicariousRider View Post
                    Sounds like a lot of good advice. I don't have much personal experience with Adequan/Legend.

                    FWIW, my 16 y.o. 3/4 TB 1/4 Trak. mare does really well with an oral supplement that has some joint stuff (MSM, Glucosamine/Chondroitin) but also has biotin, probiotics and multi-vitamin combo. She also gets her hocks injected 1x a year. I really feel that the supplement is worth the $. The over-all improvement in her physical condition seems to make her go better (better movement, flexibility, attitude, coat, hooves, etc).

                    I understand your situation. I paid for my mare all through college (full time) by babysitting, mucking, etc. I did pay for this supplement, though. It tipped the scale from "good" to "great."

                    Hope you find a combo that works for you!
                    For the other things mentioned by VicariousRider, I would suggest getting the flax supplement (there are several options with various additivies) from HorseTech; their supplements contain everything that she mentioned helped her horse (and it's high quality stuff--I use it myself ), but I would STILL pony up for the Legend/Adequan instead of a joint supplement. I suspect that VR's mare is sound as a result of ALL that she is doing for her--*but* the yearly hock injections certainly have a lot to do with it! Otherwise, the supps she is giving her probably help "support" her soundness through the rest of the year.
                    "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")

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Basically since none of them has anything even remotely close to good clinical research (yes, even Cosequin--their data are lousy) the answer is "who knows?". If you have the money to spend, and it makes you feel better to do so, try a few--some people swear by this or that or the other.

                      For my money, I go with Adequan if I have a horse that needs "a little something".

                      Dang, Dr. D, I should've saved my breath! I'm so danged predictable.
                      Click here before you buy.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                        Basically since none of them has anything even remotely close to good clinical research (yes, even Cosequin--their data are lousy) the answer is "who knows?". If you have the money to spend, and it makes you feel better to do so, try a few--some people swear by this or that or the other.

                        For my money, I go with Adequan if I have a horse that needs "a little something".

                        Dang, Dr. D, I should've saved my breath! I'm so danged predictable.


                        Yes, well, you may be predictable, but you DO have your "cadre" of loyal followers, who listen to what you say--and take it seriously...
                        "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")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          HYALURONEX!!!!! i get it from SmartPak..... totally works. Have tried them all... and since i race also did an in barn "study" and it works in my opinion as well as Legend....

                          Also shove as much Omega 3's down her as possible.
                          owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dr. Doolittle, I'd LOVE to hear more about your legend/adequan protocols. (How much, how often, etc.) I've had good luck with legend the one time I used it. I've also used injectable glucosamine and didn't notice a difference one way or another.

                            I'm currently feeding whole flax seed as I've heard it can do great things for joints as well as coats. Something to do with making prostaglandins, I think. I'm too lazy to hunt up the book.

                            Deltawave, I am one of those that listens to what you have to say--it makes SENSE. (The poultice issue sticks out clearly).

                            The problem that I have with joint supps is that there seem to be no studies, and each supplement claims to be best.... and what makes "A" best is directly opposite of what makes "B" best. (Glucosamine Sulfate vs Glucosamine HCL for example). And somewhere I read that there are issues with particle size, etc. So the whole thing has me baffled. And I for one CAN'T afford to waste my money on joint supps that will just make very expensive poop soup on a cold winter night.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post
                              For the other things mentioned by VicariousRider, I would suggest getting the flax supplement (there are several options with various additivies) from HorseTech;
                              For clarification, the supplement I was referring to is by HorseTech! Very good, Dr. D! You know your supplements!
                              "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm quite flattered that I am now a "joint support guru"

                                Will respond on the morrow to RL...
                                "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")

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I can give IM and IV shots so that will save me money. Right now I work at Starr Vaughn (a well known facility around here), and am training a few horses so I luckliy I can afford to do legend and/or adequan if i plan my money well. I just cant afford anything that doesnt work.

                                  I am definatly planning on putting my mare on MSM, that has worked wonders for my horse.

                                  I have used to have my old guy on SmartFlex Repair and it seemed to work, but my new mare so far doesnt need a joint supp.

                                  So new question, what are the exact diffrences between Legend and Adequan? What are the exact functions?
                                  "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I forgot to add that I only used Adequan 1-2x a year if needed in addition to my joint supplement. It works great!
                                    Eventingismylife
                                    http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have always ridden older horses and competed at the lower levels of eventing and First Level dressage successfully on horses in their 20's and even 30's! The BIGGEST thing about older horses is KEEP THEM MOVING! If they sit several days, it isn't good and no supplement/injection is going to change that. Supplements/injectables are good but very much in a second position to consistent excercise.

                                      In the old days (before Adequan/Legend), I fed Flex Free religiously and felt like it helped. I have used Adequan for the past 7 or so years (instead of the feed through supplements) and feel like it is a huge step up. Ironically, I was out riding my old guy this morning, who got his monthly Adequan shot a few days ago, and was thinking what an amazing product it is and how much BETTER it is than the feed throughs. Kind of funny that I was thinking about that and came home to this thread.

                                      I have also used Legend on occasion and here is how my vet explained the difference between Legend and Adequan. Adequan is slower acting but builds on itself over time and lasts longer. It is most appropriate for chronic conditions (arthritis, etc.) and is what I use the most for my old guys. Legend is faster acting (a bigger boom up front) but does not build on itself as much and doesn't last as long? It is a good product when you horse has an injury or you want your horse to have a boost (say before he/she is going to work hard at a show, etc.).

                                      I have used them in conjunction sometimes, but it does get expensive. Also, through careful shopping, you can find Adequan for $40 a vial. Legend is significantly more (I don't do IV shots so it costs about $125 in addition to any call fees in my area).

                                      Hope that helps some? I think Adequan is a good value and works really well for older horses. That would be where I put my money if I were limited.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The problem that I have with joint supps is that there seem to be no studies, and each supplement claims to be best...
                                        Me too. It's not baffling to me at all. It's just advertising, with no governing body requiring proof or accountability. Caveat emptor!
                                        Click here before you buy.

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