Many people want to protect their horses joints as much as possible to keep them performing their best. Sadly, most people do not consult their veterinarian about joint supplements and often reach for the wrong supplement and waste a lot of money each year.
There are 3 types of joint supplements: oral joint supplements, injectable joint supplements and intra articluar injections.
Oral Joint Supplements: In order for an oral joint supplement to be useful several things must happen. First, your horse must eat it and the supplement must remain stable through the amylase in the saliva, acid in the stomach and make it into the small intestine to be absorbed into the blood stream to make it to the joint. Most oral supplements do not make it to the small intestine and the ones that do often can not be absorbed into the blood stream. An oral supplement must make it into the blood stream to make it to the joint as the blood is what carries it to the joint. Texas A&M has done several studies in the past trying to identify oral supplements in the blood stream and has been unable to find the supplements in the blood after the supplement is taken orally in horses.
In addition, oral joint supplements are not federally regulated. That means that just because the container says certain ingredients are in the container, it may or may not be there and some products may be at toxic levels. With no federal regulation there is no testing of the product by non biased individuals.
If you are going to feed an oral supplement it is best to feed one that has done extensive testing on its products such as Platinum Performance and discuss it with your veterinarian first.
Injectable Joint Supplements: Injectable joint supplements are a much better option for the horse owner. These products are federally regulated and tested and are prescribed by your veterinarian for you to administer. Some examples include Adequan, Pentosan and Legend. These products have a significantly better chance of reaching the joints because they skip the oral phase and are injected directly into the horse. Another advantage is that you treat all of the joints in your horse at once. If you are interested in injectable joint supplements please message or call and we can discuss your options. Keep in mind that any prescription product requires a valid veterinary patient client relationship, so the prescribing veterinarian must have examined your horse.
Intra Articular Joint Injections: This is an injection directly into the joint by a veterinarian. Most of the time these injections are a steroid, such as Triamcinalone combined with a joint protector and lubricator such as Hyaluronic acid (Hyvisc or Hylartin V). Intra Articular Joint Injections provide inflammation relief as well as lubrication for the joint.
It is very important to protect your horses’ joints. Please discuss this very important issue with your veterinarian before picking products on your own. Please message or call if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.