Equine Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of a horse's joints and is quite a common problem in older horses and ponies.
The cause of arthritis in a horse or pony can be attributed to a combination of factors - but the main cause is continual stress on a horse's joints through activities such as jumping or working on hard ground.
Specialised joint supplements can help a horse or pony with arthritis and keep him comfortable and give him a longer working life.
There are several different types of equine Joint Supplements, such as Cortaflex, available to buy which claim to ease stiffness and improve freedom of movement in a horse or pony. Many of these feed additives are herbal supplements such as Devil's Claw or are based on Omega 3 oils .
When choosing a joint supplement to feed it is advisable to research the more specialised supplements and check which ingredients they contain .
A combination of all or some of the following common ingredients should be present in a good joint supplement for a horse with arthritis, as they have all been shown to be of benefit, to some degree, to horses with arthritic joints:
Feeding Chondrotin Sulphate to a horse can inhibit destructive enzymes and help production of cartilage and so help to improve .
Chondrotin is not normally present in a horse or pony's diet. It can be added by feeding processed animal products that have a high cartilage content.
If Glucosamine is fed to a horse on a regular basis production of cartilage is stimulated - it can also control inflammatory processes.
Glucosamine is found in cartilage and connective tissues.
Minerals such as manganese copper and zinc are important for cartilage formation.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which is good for inflammatory control - it neutralises free radicals before they can damage the horse's normal body tissues.
A horse can of manufacture his own vitamin C - so it is not usually found in feed supplements - but it is a good ingredient to look for.
Bioflavinoids are found in a wide variety of different plants.
They are antioxidants that enhance the effect of vitamin C in a supplement.
Essential fatty acids are found in unprocessed oils like extra virgin olive oil.
Fish oils such as cod liver oil can be fed to a horse or a pony to control arthritis as they also contain fatty acids which help to lubricate the horse's joints.
Other vegetable oils such as corn, soya and sunflower are all processed oils and lose a lot their goodness during processing.
Feed supplements to help improve condition of horse or pony with arthritis