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Arthritis Management/pain control

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  • Arthritis Management/pain control

    I just want to have an educational talk about some arthritis management options.

    I have a 23 yo TB mare with normal degenerative arthritis in the hocks, and recently ringbone in the right front. Her hocks have fused, so from that standpoint, she is comfortable. The ringbone however, is making her uncomfortable.

    She is retired. She is out for about 14 hours a day (she can't tolerate the 90+ temps we've been having, so has been inside for part of the day). She is on CortaFlx and a gram of bute a day. That has been her regimen for the past 4 years and she has done very well. However, her tummy has started to bother her in the last few weeks. She had ulcers as a younger horse, and this year the combo of bute and a lot of life changes (she had to move to a new barn) has brought them back. She does tolerate the bute well when given with some tums, but I'd like to find another option. I did stop it all together when the ulcers started again, to get some ulcergaurd into her and start healing, but she was very lame without it, so after a week, I started adding it back with the tums and ulcergaurd, and she doesn't seem at all bothered by it for now, but I need a new long term plan.

    We have tried Legend/Adequan in the past, but she doesn't tolerate it well. Both caused localized swelling/inflamation at injection site, followed by hives and hair loss. (she's a delicate flower)

    I just had front shoes put on her to try and relieve some of the pressure from the ringbone inflammation, and it has made a big difference. She is moving much better and more comfortable.

    I just want to keep her as comfortable as I can and want some education on other pain control options. Whether they are oral, injectable, topical, etc.

    She is, and has been, under the care of a vet. Until recent weeks, she was doing very well with the regimen we had. But it doesn't seem to be a good match at this point and I want to have an idea of some suggestions before I have the vet back out to change our treatment plan. I know my vet, and having knowledge and suggestions going into the appointment yields a much better outcome. So thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions/and education.
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

  • #2
    I've had good results using the natural herb/spice TURMERIC.

    You can read about the properties here on Medline Plus: A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...-turmeric.html

    and another here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1...m&ordinalpos=1

    I feed a tbsp. of turmeric daily (I buy in bulk from organic herb supplier) per horse.
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


    • #3
      I agree Tumeric is something that I had good results with. I would also try Yucca and Devils Claw extracts. Great for pain, but they do test if you are competing. I have tried a product called Pain Effect that has Tumeric, Devil's Claw, Yucca, Ginger Root, and Bosweilla. I thought it showed alot of difference in the horse I used it on. Its from a company called Zang Fu Equine.


      • #4
        Flax is good too, for joints and digestive tract. It has natural anti-inflammatory effects. Try up to 2 cups per day, starting gradually at 1/4 cup a day. If her teeth aren't the greatest, I would grind it in a coffee mill. And refrigerate, as flax can go rancid quickly in hot weather. ( Unless you buy the stabilized kind, like Omega HorseShine. )

        Voltaren (diclofenac) is a topical creme for arthritis. Here it is OTC at the drug store, & Costco.

        These are the products that I use for my own arthritis, and give my horse flax daily, and a Voltaren joint rub when needed. I also give him an herbal ulcer mix with chamomile, since he is in recovery from stomach ulcers, and is now tapering off his GG.

        I haven't tried the Turmeric on my guy, but have heard good things about it for people. So thanks, caballus, for that tip.
        “Your appearance should reflect the care you take in every aspect of your horsemanship... feeding, grooming... everything you do, from the barn to the show ring. Class, people, class…" George Morris


        • #5
          can she tolerate equioxx/previcox?


          • #6
            FindersKeepers my 30 year old TB mare has many of the same issues. Over the past 2 weeks, especially with the heat, she presented mild colic symptoms & her left hock doubled in size overnight. We resolved the colic with banamine shot and cold hosing has reduced the hock. This heat has been really hard on my elderly animals, our feline matriarch died last Tuesday.

            I have my mare on CortaFlex as it does not contain MSM, which she cannot tolerate. Tough as she is, MSM totally destroys her stomach.

            She is also on Conquer paste, which is not a pain reliever, but it does help with joint mobility. Per my vet - no problem with daily use.

            The vets had no experience with omega 3 fish oil for arthritis, but noted it should not cause any problems if the horse will eat it.

            Good luck with your old girl - hope you are able to keep her comfortable.
            "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
            Courtesy my cousin Tim


            • #7
              We have a 22 year old retired TB with severe arthritis from his racing days, and then dressage use. He was nerved on his right front years ago by a previous owner. He was so bad after this awful winter that we were going to put him down. Out vet suggested trying Recovery EQ + HA, so we did. We started him on the Recovery EQ + HA with one gram of bute in the morning and one gram at night. He has been on it for about 3 months, and is down to 1/2 gram of bute in the morning, soon to be off the bute totally. He is totally pasture sound and loving life again - cantering and trotting up and down our hills with his buddies. Don't know if it would work for your horse, but we saw a difference before the first small bucket was used up. We get it at Dover - price $89.90 for a little over a month's supply. Not cheap, but it has made a world of difference to our Kilkenny.
              Best of luck with your horse.
              stained glass groupie


              • #8
                Surpass, maybe? Or just keep going with the bute, trying to taper the dose up and down as needed with lots of TUMS?

                Arthritis is a waxing and waning disease--good days and bad days are to be expected. If you're there with her a lot and willing to be vigilant, you might be able to keep her "bute burden" tolerable by adding and subtracting even half pills as tolerated.

                I know in this heat the horses stomp-stomp-stomp because the flies (at least around here) are directly proportional to the temperature--can she wear fly boots to minimize painful stomping?
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  I think I'd check into equioxx/previcox. Previcox IF your vet will give it to you. Equioxx runs about $8 - $10/dose. Previcox (same dosage, same drug), about $1/dose...but is 'off label' for horses because it is for dogs.


                  • #10
                    I have an arthritic oldster, have been battling his arthritis for 10 years. He too has ulcers, so bute and things like devils claw are off for him.

                    The biggest change that helped him was creating a paddock paradise style environment for him where he is rarely loafing and never stalled. The second biggest was keeping his feet trimmed on a very short schedule, I trim every 2-3 weeks. The third was controlling his weight, he'd been a bcs of 6+ most of the time I'd owned him, happily we're 4.5 now. (well, he is, I'm the 6+ now )

                    I have not had any noticeable results with turmeric, I tried for 3 months. I have had noticeable results with omega horseshine however. I have had my best results with otc cox2 inhibitors, figurelo labs makes some, I use naviculasaver.

                    Msm has been the dark horse this year though. Previously he'd been reactive on msm, but I figured I'd try again. He's brilliant on it right now. Normally with this hard dry earth I'd be breaking out the cox2, but, touch wood, no need as of yet.

                    I'm curious about back on track products for him too, I've got some wraps I'd been meaning to try, but he's been good so far, so no need yet (touch wood).
                    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you for all the suggestions.

                      We haven't tried equioxx/previcox as the bute had always been our go-to. I was thinking about trying surpass for awhile as her only painful spot currently is the ringbone.

                      I should have mentioned that she is on OmegaHorseshine already, as it has really helped her allergies and to maintain weight.

                      I use smartpaks and get our bute right through them. I was looking on their website this morning at a product called SmartTLC and was wondering if anyone had tried that? It had great reviews and maybe we could eliminate the bute to just bad days. It contains MSM and Devils Claw and before this post, I thought those were good options to prevent stomach problems...

                      She's not showing at all, and won't ever again. So having her on something that tests is no issue. I just want her pasture sound. She lived the life of a racehorse and a broodmare and then put in an amazing career as a hunter. Now I just want to take care of her.
                      Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                      • #12
                        Hey Nik, it's me :-)!! Just stumbled upon your thread by accident...I have heard a couple of people who had told me that the previcox did wonders for their horses...maybe we should try it on Bailey? (If we can get a prescription for it...) I had always wanted to try it on Jamie but never did.....it is pretty inexpensive, not sure on the side effects, especially since she is such a frail little thing ;-)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
                          I use smartpaks and get our bute right through them. I was looking on their website this morning at a product called SmartTLC and was wondering if anyone had tried that? It had great reviews and maybe we could eliminate the bute to just bad days. It contains MSM and Devils Claw and before this post, I thought those were good options to prevent stomach problems...
                          I've had my horse on the SmartTLC since I think November of last year... I tried the BL Pellets first, but when comparing ingredients thought the TLC would be more cost effective. He has had no tummy issues, but he is a very sturdy sort never prone to digestive upset.

                          My guy is a 9 y/o with degenerative cartilage in his left stifle. He gets full dose SmartFlex Repair and 1/2 dose SmartTLC every day (along with vitamins). It does get pricey, but when I tried to reduce the Repair to 3/4 dose and the TLC to 1/3 dose, he was quite lame in just a few days. So, he stays at the current level. I can increase the TLC to a full dose later, as he needs it, and will then ask my vet for the Prevacox (firocoxib mentioned above, dog dose SO much cheaper)... and when that stops working, it'll be time. I am hoping to delay that as long as possible, but want him as comfortable as possible; so far, this combination is working very well for him.
                          I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

                          My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com