What diet for your arthritic horses?? Inc supplements...

Chumsmum

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What do you feed your arthritic horses and what supplements do you use? Have you seen big differences, anything you know that has worked for lots of horses?

My 17yo pony has Bone Spavin and is going back to the vets this week for more x-rays and possibly another steroid injection as it is causing him bother again


I'm reviewing his diet to see if there is anything else I could be giving him to help - he gets really stiff all over if he stands for prolonged periods etc. I'm still gently hacking him which helps. He lives out 24/7 but doesn't run around etc, head down eating 24/7..


He is a good-doer (though not as good as he used to be) and is on limited grazing/hay - he has lost a bit of weight and looks better for it. I think he is about right weight-wise but doesn't look great - the tiny bit of topline he had has gone now I can't school him, he is swayed backed which makes his belly look bigger. However, his coat and eyes are bright and he seems happy enough for a grumpy old git


He is fed 2 x mugs of Bailey Lo Cal Balancer with a tiny handful of Alfa A Oil (using up bag) split over two feeds which include his joint suppliment Synequin. Not much really but the highlight of his day


I might try ringing the feed helplines next week as they have been good before but the lines are usually busy and it takes a while to get to speak to anyone.

I'm not convinced about the highly expensive Synequin either but as the insurance will still pay for it for the next few months I'm loathe to take him off it in case he is far worse without it. I'll start experimenting with the other supplements when the insurance runs out..

Thanks for any replies
 

surreyhorsechick

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My boy also has arthritic hocks (he's 21) and has had regular Hionate injections IV for the past 5 years (every 6 months or so). I have also tried Cartrophen which was given IM - similar results but I personally prefer the Hionate. I also have him on Corta-Vet powder which seems to help, plus Cider Vinegar & Pernamax tablets (I saw a huge change in his mobility when I started using Pernamax but many people have seen no difference at all). Feed wise he has Balanced Show Mix (1 scoop split into 3 feeds) which he has been on for years and always does really well on it and I also feed Baileys Outshine which works wonders for adding a bit of weight & condition without any fizz. I think every horse is different though and apart from the obvious of regular teeth checks & worming on time you are probably doing all the right things!
 

teddyt

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My 25 yo was diagnosed with arthritis aged about 11, he competed until he was 19 and retired at 21. He lives out, has unmollassed sugar beet and soaked alfalfa nuts for breakfast. Dinner he has fibergy, 16+ nuts, unmollassed sugar beet and 1/2 cup of linseed. The only supplement he has is arthriaid from nutriscience.
As and when he needs more help i will try Boswellia or devils claw before bute.
 

rlhnlk

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Mine has ringbone windgalls, splints and probably some undiagnosed conditions and was lame if you were looking for it if you get me. I've had her on blue chip dynamic for about 18 months now and she is now sound even if you watch for it. She has the odd stiff day (about 4 in the last year) and I give her a bute then or if she has done a particularly long hack on hard ground I'll give her a bute purely for the anti imflamatory effect. The blue chip does seem to have made a difference though.
 

emmac70

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I put my 19 yr old mare on Superflex about 2 weeks ago as she was getting stiff in her hocks and they are getting a bit clicky. I've seen and felt a definite improvement in her and she seem much happier and free-er
 

StinkiPinki

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My older dressage horse is on Superflex, ive noticed a big difference in his flexion since hes been on it. Also the farrier has noted that he finds it much easier to lift his hind legs (he has spavins in both which have fused)
 

hellybelly6

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Keeping the weight off will help a lot. My horse had spavins aged 10, he is now 16 and the have fused and although he is stiff as the joint has fused, he is not in pain and we can do a bit of everything.

My horse has cortaflex HA (intolerant to alfalfa), cider apple vinegar and relfex by hilton herbs which contains devil's claw. He also has a hilton herbs seaweed hoof supplement for his feet.

Feed wise my 16.3 740 kg beastie has fast fibre and ride n relax 1.2 kg between 2 feeds. 1 kg of molly chaff and high fibre horsehage about 10 kg. The mollychaff is a haylage supplement due to his dieting.

Magnotherapy is also good for arthritis. Regular gentle exercise is great and it is also an idea to not trot on roads or hard ground and to keep small circles to a minimum as this puts strain on the inside hind leg.
 

Chumsmum

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Thank you for replies


I am making a note of the feeds and supplements to try - I notice that Superflex has been mentioned a couple of times and I tried him on Pernamax a couple of years ago when he was stiff after a kick so will try that again. Also very interesting about the Blue Chip Dynamic, someone recommended a Blue Chip product but I couldn't remember which one, must have been this, will compare the ingredients to the Synequin and see if I'm 'doubling' up much.

Agree about the Outshine being good for condition, used to great effect last Autumn when he lost weight quickly, doesn't need it atm but wouldn't hesitate to use it if need be.

I am using magnetic boots regularly now and 'think' I can see a difference, will continue using them.

I weigh tape every week now and am happy with it atm but I doubt he will ever be a skinny-minnie, loves food and not using up too much energy, like his mom..


I will speak to the vet about using bute or bute substitutes, vet said he hasn't needed it but I'm finding that a lot of people I speak to who have horses with Spavin use these regularly
At his age I would rather he be on them than not if they help.

Many thanks for your replies - much appreciated
 

TarantuLove

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Hi, I have also found as little sugar in the diet as possible really helps with stiffness/arthritis. I took as much sugar out of my boy's food as I could and he seemed a lot looser.
 

sye777

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4 March 2009
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My arthritic horse is only just 12 and now back in full work. I feed him A+P calm and condition, Simple feeds Total eclipse with chaff and garlic 3 x per day.
Supplement wise he is on riaflex complete, and it is the best thing I have ever put him on. Costs £42 per month (direct from riaflex) as he is on 2 scoops a day but tub can last 72days depending on size and needs of horse!
The Total eclipse I switched to from very expensive Bluechip and this also enabled me to drop the need to feed Naf magic as it contains brewers yeast (anxiety) linseed (anti oxidant & coat) & seaweed (hooves, coat etc). You only need 1 mugful per day and I am very pleased withnot only how he looks this year coming out of winter but his state of mind too and topped off with being in full work ,pain free after a very stressful 2008!!
Good luck as it is a minefield but trial and error is the way forward! Do take a look at riaflex and simple feed system websites as very informative and I cannot rate highly enough!!
 

Chumsmum

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Wow, lots of information, much appreciated, esp the supplements, I'll be trialling them when the insurance runs out on the Synequin.

I've left him at the vets this morning and if he has another steroid injection today, I'll keep his diet the same for the next couple of weeks so I can see if it's the injection working rather than any change in diet. Then I'll start experimenting..
 
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