Arthritic joint.... can anything be done?

PapaFrita

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There's a mare at the yard with a very little flexion in her near fore fetlock. Her other fore fetlock has a little bit more flexion. She isn't nodding lame, but goes very short in front and I was wondering whether bute (or other painkiller/antiinflamatory) might make her more comfortable so that she do a bit more (she's up to some gentle hacking IMO) or would bute just mask the pain and so cause her to worsen the injury? Could such an injury GET any worse?
Vet is coming out in the week to judge just how much work she really is up to, although allegedly (owners told me!) vet had in fact passed her as fit 4-5 months ago when they bought her.
 

brightmount

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The vet might recommend a hyanate injection. My horse had this done twice under insurance. It's quite expensive and one of those things that may or may not work, so if the horse in uninsured, cost could be an issue ... otherwise - worth a try!
 

LauraBR

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My beloved JF had very advanced arthritis in his knee. We had hunted, xc'd.... did everything. In retrospect he always coped scarily well and the first I knew of it was confirmed by x-rays which made clear he had had it badly for a few years. as the arthritis was developed, he'd just lost a lot of flexion.

He was never on bute, he had been on cortaflex for years before I bought him (arthritis brought on by capped knee). Magnetic boots seemed to help with flexion.

He's still happy and in work.
 

henryhorn

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We have had good results with a bioflow boot , our old stallion has an arthritic joint and goes lame evey so often. A few days of the bioflow boot and he is sound and stays that way for ages.
My school ponies who were arthritic had bute plus cod liver oil, now I would say cortaflex plus the bute provides a good alternative.
I think with arthritic joints they sort of seize up, as when the oldies arrive here to retire many are pretty lame. Within a month all have improved a lot, and all I can think of is the fact the undulating ground makes them move those stiff joints.
I would try cortaflex and bute, then gradually cut down the bute until you see it has no effect, we found some horses only needed a tiny amount to keep them sound and mobile.
 

henryhorn

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I did think that, and if they won't pay for it anyway you need a cheaper alternative.
Cider vinegar is supposed to be very good, never tried it but if it's available I'd have a go.
What about green lipped mussel supplement can you get that by post?
 
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Cider Vinegar used to be used all the time before all these joint supplements came out. About 20 years ago (god thats showing my age) the cob I rode at the time who was 24 yrs was on cider vinegar for his hocks and yes it really helped. So definately worth trying. Have also used Cod liver oil before with good results.
 
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It?s going to be useful to establish the reason for limited flexion in the joint. If there are signs of degenerative joint disease then there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition but some sort of analgesic such as bute might be appropriate. The most useful thing would be continued light exercise. Nothing else is much use, the vet will tell you about the available treatments and success rates. If its DJD its strange it wasn't noticed by the vet 5 months ago. Hmmm.
 

PapaFrita

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Weeeell, the owners told me the vet proclaimed her fit... that's not to say she really did
I've been told (have to hear this from owners) that vet has been to see mare and it has been decided to retire her and put her in foal...
 
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My friend's horse who I have been looking after this week had something like this and he had some new injections into the joint which have really really helped... If you are interested I can ask her for more information, including a name which might be useful, LOL!
 

PapaFrita

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That's really kind of you Becki, but I don't think owners really want to go to much trouble now the horse has been declared (officially) unfit to jump. I believe they're going to turn her away and put her in foal, but I'll PM you if they show any interest in keeping her in work
 
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Oh that's a shame... I'll try and find out anyway so I know if they are.

Is it a good idea putting a mare with possible DJD in foal? I thought it was hereditary but I might be wrong (she also may not have this, someone else might have mentioned it.)
 

PapaFrita

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Well, I've not spoken to vet, so I don't know if it IS DJD. Mare used to play polo, and then Pato (horseball) so has got lots and lots of miles on the clock. I'm more inclined to think it's wear and tear from all the work she's done.
She's got a nice temperament, and her conformation is not bad, but these are NOT sensible people; they're trying to get back some of the money they spent on her.... obviously they think breeding a foal is free and assume foalie will be gorgeous and talented, but honestly I'm not going to waste my energy trying to talk some sense into them... by next week they might've changed their mind again!!
 

PapaFrita

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Believe me, if there was any chance they would pay ANY attention to me I would tell them they're nuts with regards breeding their mare... BUT these are the people who acquired a 17hh grey for their 8 year old daughter, and then bought this mare without vetting her....
At least breeding said foal will be substantially cheaper than in the UK,and with any luck they'll have forgotten all about it next week...
I consider myself lucky they listened long enough to get the vet out to look at this mare; they had their hearts set on SJing her!!
 
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You haven't said whether DJD has been specifically diagnosed. It is important that you know whether this is a muscular/tendon injury or a DJD. If you use bute and it is a muscular injury you can do more harm than good.This will mask the pain so the horse will work in a more normal fashion causing more damage. There are joint supplememnts out there that are not going to break the bank. IF it is indeed arthritis the best thing you can do for this horse is put it on a good joint supplement. This has been proven to reverse joint damage, repair existing damage and prevent further damage. Other than light exercise this is the best you can do for an arthritic horse. Joint supplememnts can make the world of difference. As a rule of thumb this horse should be on 10g glucosamine, 10g MSM, and 4g chondroitin daily in any combination. Any less than this and the effects are minimal so check the label on your products. I am sure you will be able to find a product that you can get posted out.

Good luck!
 

PapaFrita

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Horse has arthritis and thankfully has been retired from work. She's not my horse and her owners are, unfortunately, numpties (they bought her a few months ago without a vetting) nor can I picture them forking out for an expensive supplement (i live in Argentina, so we're rather more limited in the range of products which by our standards are fantastically expensive) I'm just grateful they've made a sensible decision for once!
 
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