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Is there a down side to regular injections of adequan?

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  • Is there a down side to regular injections of adequan?

    I have been hearing more and more about people giving their horses adequan every month after the loading dose. Are many of you doing that? I have a horse who is getting a tad older and doesn't move as well with her hind end as she used to. The vet suggested injecting her hocks or at least said I should consider it in the not too distant future. I would rather not because of the expense and possible infection...a horse in our barn got a bad infection from having her hocks injected but I am told this is rare..nonetheless, I would rather go another way. Any bad experiences with Adequan? Any thoughts at all? Thanks.

  • #2
    If expense is a concern, I'm pretty sure Adequin will cost you a lot more than hock injections. I know someone who uses adequin and you're supposed to give quite a few doses quite frequently at first, I think a round cost her about $600.
    Legend might be a bit of a cheaper option and I think can work as well as Adequin.
    If your horse is quite a bit older I would get the hocks done. I've had my horse's doen in the past a it made a huge difference but I wouldn't have them done often in a younger horse.


    • #3
      If you follow the label for Adequan you'll do two rounds per year. Last time I bought it (in the spring) it was $319 (shipping included). So you're looking at north of $600/annum.

      The major risk is poorly prepared injection sites. We used it a number of times and recommend it. You also have to "rotate" your injections sites to reduce the risk of the horse developing "needle phobia."

      We've also done hock injections. They are probably more effective than Adequan, but I'm not sure by how much. They are somewhat less expensive but run a much higher risk of adverse consequences. The big issue here is that they are a "diminishing returns" procedure, in that each injection will give relief for a shorter period of time than the previous one.

      Based on my experience I'd do Adequan until I was not getting the results I needed and then go to the injections.

      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


      • #4
        I just went thru 3 rounds of hock injections. Vet is old school and reluctant. He should have solved the problem in one round but that's another story.

        He prepared the hock's injection sites by thoroughly washing the hocks with disinfectant. Thorough to the point that we had a puddle in the aisle. Very liberal washing.

        Once he was done injecting, he wrapped the hocks with vet wrap, which came off during the night.

        I suggest a morning appointment, turn out for the day (outside is actually cleaner than inside) plus most horses don't lay down a lot outside as opposed to at night in the stall.

        I would go with the injections (and will have to again) and not worry. With proper hygiene, it's as safe as any other injection. Piercing the skin is always a risk.
        Ride like you mean it.


        • #5
          The only downside I saw in my own horse is that eventually, the IM injectable no longer worked well enough.

          I gave my horse Chondroprotec for about 2 years before my vet and I decided he needed hock injections. His recommendation was the loading dose, then an injection monthly. After some time, I started giving him injections twice/month. I'm sure that giving the loading dose twice yearly helps some horses; for mine, he needed it more frequently. Whether you choose to go with an "off label" treatment or dosage depends on how comfortable you feel with your vet and his/her recommendations.

          While the Chondroprotec certainly made him more comfortable for some time, the injections made him feel 5 years younger (he was about 17 when we injected).

          My vet injected both hocks at a cost of about $700. A year later I was thinking that he'd need another round in the coming months when he died suddenly of something unrelated.

          7 doses of adequan goes for $289 on Allivet.

          I would start with an IM injectable until it no longer works. My horse had no problem after his hock injections but I also have a lot of confidence in my vet.

          Legend can certainly help but since it's given IV, you have to pay for the vet call unless you are able to give them yourself. Personally, I don't feel comfortable with IV.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


          • #6
            I use chondroprotec also. I've used this and adequin over the years and the chondroprotec seems to work just as well and is much cheaper then adequin. That said it will only work for so long and if the horse needs hock injections bad enough adequin is not going to really do much.
            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


            • #7
              One more thing to consider. Just because you inject your horse's hocks, you might not want to stop the Adequan/chondroprotec/legend. By injecting a joint you address only that joint. Your horse may have arthritis or stiffness in other parts of his body.

              I continued to give my horse Chondroprotec (on a monthly schedule) after his hock injections.

              My horse died because he had a blot clot by his poll (nothing to do with arthritis or injections). Because he died at Tufts they performed a necropsy there and he had arthritis in more than just his hocks. The vets there shared all their findings with me while they were trying to figure out why he died.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


              • #8
                My vets believe that Adequan doesn't do much for the older horse with OA that has produced signs visible on radiographs.

                Her point was that Adequan is meant to repair the synovium (and cartilage?) that's there and not already too damaged. Beyond a point, there ain't enough to fix.

                Just one DVM's opinion and an FYI if you are talking about an older--- like late teens-- horse.
                The armchair saddler
                Politically Pro-Cat


                • #9
                  As mvp says, Adequan is for mild repair and probably won't be enough help for an older horse. I think you'd get more mileage out of a good quality oral HA supplement than Adequan.

                  Do the loading dose at 200 mg/day for 7-10 days and see what that buys you. The easiest way to do this test is to get 3 tubes of Conquer - that's 9 doses at the loading dose and approx. $45. Horses love Conquer - you can just squirt it on his food if you don't feel like dosing him.

                  If you like the results, then go with a cheaper/bulk supplement (many COTH-ers swears by Flex Force, sold by valleyvet.com), and you can try to back down to 100 mg/day.
                  "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


                  • #10
                    There's never been any conclusive research on oral suppements (other than Cosequen). There's been research on Adequan (on the loading dose and IA joint injection use). Adequan may/may not work if given monthly and for your horse's specific problems-- but there's no reason to think oral supplements will be any more effective. At least with Adequan, there's some research to back it up and you know what's supposed to be in the vial is in the vial. Who knows with oral supplements!?
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                    • #11
                      My older horse has severe degenerative hock arthritis (upper and lower joints). Vet recommended Adequan loading dose, and every other week. Pretty frequent and expensive, but it's working. He is no longer a candidate for direct hock injections. His hocks are about as bad as they can get, and I am thrilled with Adequan. He is retired to light trail only, and turned out with some young horses and gallops around sometimes. He does what feels good day to day. Still carts me or my 10 yr old son around on hacks safely and happily. Our choices were Adequen, Tildren (worry about colic and stomach upset as he is VERY sensitive), Legend. Adequan has kept him pasture sound and trail sound. So it may work for some but not for others, but I have been very happy with it!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vxf111 View Post
                        There's never been any conclusive research on oral suppements (other than Cosequen).
                        Actually Conquer has done research on their oral HA product, but like Cosequin, it's not enough research for FDA approval - just enough to convince some folks and look good in ads.

                        If you're not a supplement fan, I would think that Legend would go farther in an older animal for the same reason - that HA is more effective on joints with more wear - but a lot of horses need Legend more than once/month and that gets really costly.

                        ETA: found the article
                        "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


                        • #13
                          I know the new way of injecting Adequan is to do it in a series of shots but when I had my old guy on it (before he retired) I gave him the loading dose and then an injection every 2-4 weeks depending on if I felt he needed it. I did have to do hock injections eventually but I still kept him on the Adequan which helped to elongate the time between the injections. My horses first hock injections were at 17 and then not again until 22 years old. I attribute that to the Adequan (Chondroprotec is what I used) maintenance.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by touchadream View Post
                            I attribute that to the Adequan (Chondroprotec is what I used) maintenance.
                            What does this mean?
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                            • Original Poster

                              Many thanks for the responses.....I will discuss it with my veterinarian


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by retrofit View Post
                                Actually Conquer has done research on their oral HA product, but like Cosequin, it's not enough research for FDA approval - just enough to convince some folks and look good in ads.

                                If you're not a supplement fan, I would think that Legend would go farther in an older animal for the same reason - that HA is more effective on joints with more wear - but a lot of horses need Legend more than once/month and that gets really costly.

                                ETA: found the article
                                I knew there was another one I was forgetting. Conquer and Cosequin. Neither, frankly, all that compelling (I think the Conquer study IIRC was about absorption not efficacy)... but more than the nothing most oral supplements have.
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"