Horse Arthritis

What is horse arthritis? That is a question many horse owners are searching to find the answer to. Not only is it important to know what it is, but also what the warning signs are and how they can prevent and treat it.

First off what is arthritis and what horses are more prone to having this problem? Studies have shown that horses over the age of 15 are more likely to have this problem because their cartilage begins to wear out faster at this age. Some horses that have also been used heavily in different events, or that have malnutrition problems may also have a higher risk of having arthritis.

It is also important for horse owners and caregivers to know and understand how to detect early signs of arthritis. The reason is this disease can often be treatable and preventable if caught early. Some of these warning signs include: pain, swelling, and stiffness in a joint after use that lasts two weeks or longer. Other signs include: stiffness after prolonged standing or sleeping, lameness, limp after use, stiff gate that improves with warm-up, and decrease in performance.

There are many other warning signs and it can be different and hard to diagnose with every case. It is important to involve your veterinarian and let him/her know of your concerns. Your veterinarian will know what needs to be done if there is a problem or what can be done to prevent the problem from getting worse. They may suggest that you put your horse on supplements, and give them bute or some other anti-inflammatory to help with the problem.

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