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Stifle Arthritis - How are you treating?

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  • Stifle Arthritis - How are you treating?

    I have a 19 y/o appy mare who came up lame almost 2 years ago. We did X-rays and determined that she had stifle arthritis. Vet gave me the option to inject, but I declined since the mare was already 1/2 retired anyway and I had two other horses in work so the mare could just be retired. Back then, it was barely noticable in the walk, but noticable in the trot and canter.

    Well now that she has been out of work, and has lost all her muscle tone, I can see it in her walk now. The winter was harder on her this year than in prior years, and I could tell she was getting stiff on colder nights. She's been outside 24/7 since the day she was born, so she's not unfamiliar with turnout. She gets around fine (keeps with the herd, just slowest one to the buckets at feeding time) and is her normal bossy self. But I just want to make sure I am doing all that I can for her.

    I am going to have thevet out in the next week to re-check her, but I just would like to know some things that you all have tried that I can discuss with the.


  • #2
    Personally, I'd just do the injection. It's easy, and targeted at exactly what's wrong. You could also try messing around with oral supps (MSM, Cosequin) but they may or may not do anything.


    • #3
      I too have an older appy mare (21 y/o) with arthritis. I have successfully been managing it with Surpass once a day every other day during the cold months and can eventually stop once it warms back up if I keep her active. It has been doing a great job keeping her sound.

      My neighbor also uses it on her older warmblood gelding and has managed to stretch it out to once every third day.

      I like it because it is topical so its easy to use. I suppose you could just put some on the night before or right after a "workout", a "workout" for my mare means a walk around the property.

      You might want to ask your vet about what using it long term would do. Unfortunately my mare also has cancer so long term effects in my case were not the biggest concern.


      • #4
        Injections really helped my aged gelding, made him much more comfortable. He's only gotten 2 injections in over 10 years, they were so effective. Legend really helped him a lot too. He's 32 now and pasture sound, hard to tell he's a lame horse most days.

        Keeping his feet super well trimmed and never over growing, and rolling his hind toes aggressively so breakover is really easy has been a huge contribution to his comfort.

        Any time the ground is hard is hard on my guy, summer drought or winter freeze. Weather permitting I use a Back on Track sheet on him that covers over his stifle and it seems some of the magic makes it to the stifle, he's less hitchy on that leg.

        MSM really helps him too as does constant movement. He lives out in a paddock paradise set up where he has to travel all day for food/water/shelter, he never loafs for more than 20 minutes. That has helped tremendously.

        I've never had any luck with any other oral sup other than MSM. The only topical that seemed to have lasting effects was DMSO but must have burned him badly because he would fight terribly when I applied it.
        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


        • #5
          I just started giving my 20 yr old pony Conquer 3x a week. Not sure yet if this schedule is working or not. She seems somewhat more comfortable. Haven't used her in a lesson a yet so keeping my fingers crossed!