Of Horse

Created by Horse enthusiasts for Horse enthusiasts

Get your free account at Of Horse.

  • Vote

    for your favorite new posts
  • Publish

    your own original blog posts
  • Earn

    $15 for your posts voted to Top Posts
  • Sign Up!
Glucosamine Supplementation for Joint Problems
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

Glucosamine Supplementation for Joint Problems

Like any athlete a horse’s joints suffer from general wear and tear.  Riding on the roads, jumping on hard ground and the continual demand for greater flexion of the joints in dressage horses can all take their toll.  Horses that live outside are less likely to show the effects of joint stiffening as their continual gentle movement around the field helps to keep them mobile and loose.  But what else can horse owners do to help their horse’s joints as they age?

Supplements

You’ve probably seen joint supplements on display in your local feed store.  Do these products actually work?

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound that horses need in order to produce GAG's, or glycosaminoglycans, the molecules that repair and form cartilage and other tissues within the body.  As the horse ages the production of GAG's slows down.  Consequently, the cartilage within the horse’s joints wears away often resulting in the onset of degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis.

Sources of Glucosamine

Luckily, owners can supplement their horse’s natural glucosamine.  Most joint supplements contain chondroitin sulphate.  This chemical helps to maintain cartilage heath by combating the enzymes that break down cartilage.  Glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulphate can help to repair damaged cartilage within an older horse’s joints and is a very useful preventative measure for younger horses too.

There have been a number of studies carried out which do present evidence that supplementation with glucosamine is effective in the prevention and treatment of degenerative joint diseases in horses.  Appropriate supplementation combined with careful management and considerate working should all help your horse’s joints as he ages.  Feeding cod liver oil and vegetable oil is also reputed to help mobility issues in older equines.

In Conclusion

You can help to keep your horse sound for longer by looking after his joints.  Avoid working your horse excessively on hard ground, allow him freedom to keep his joints loose by turning him out and supplement his diet with a suitable additive product.

 

Image sourcepmvetservices.com

Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.

More about flexion, glucosamine, joints

Yes! Send me a full color horse trailer brochure from Featherlite.

Thanks! Your brochure will be on its way shortly.

Leave a Comment

  1. BiologyBrain
    BiologyBrain
    Do you know of any information about fused joints & if glucosamine or any other supplement would help a horse with a fused joint (knee in my horse's case) stay sound longer? I voted this post up, please read mine and vote for mine if you like it. :-)
    Log in to reply.
    1. autumnap
      autumnap
      Many thanks for your vote. I don't think glucosamine would do much for a fused joint but it might be worth trying a mobility supplement containing oil. My dressage horse was fed Codlivine supplement since he was a baby and despite being 18.1hh and heavily built he's never had any problems with his joints. He's 23 now and still going strong! Perhaps ask a good equine vet for advice?
      Log in to reply.
      1. BiologyBrain
        BiologyBrain
        Thanks. I'm going to ask my vet too, but it always helps to ask people who've lived with it too. :-)
        Log in to reply.

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.