CARING FOR AN ARTHRITIC HORSE: TOP TIPS FOR EQUESTRIANS

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Leisure

Many horses, especially older ones, suffer from arthritis. This painful condition can make it hard for a horse to carry on with their daily activities and perform well in competition. Fortunately, there are some ways to help them out.

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Here are some tips that can help you care for an arthritic horse. Be sure to speak to your veterinarian about these treatments, as they may not be appropriate for all horses or situations.

Know the signs of arthritis

The first step in caring for an arthritic horse is knowing the signs. One important sign is lameness, or a reluctance to move. Vets will also diagnose arthritis by taking x-rays and checking for swelling in the joints.

Managing and preventing pain

One way you can help an arthritic horse is by managing pain. Arthritis is often caused by wear and tear on joints, which can lead to pain. The first thing you should do with your arthritic horse is to make sure they are comfortable. It may be necessary to change the surface they walk on or the way they live.

You might want to invest in stable matting with a soft layer of shavings on top that’s easy for them to walk on with their hooves or have a deep bedding that’s easy for them to lie down in without pressure points. Additionally, your vet will also recommend supplements that you can use to relieve any pain your horse may be in, as well as whether they think the animal should be on bute temporarily.

Joint supplements for your horse

Supplements are one way to help your horse deal with arthritis. There are two types of supplements that can be used to help ease its pain: joint supplements and anti-inflammatory supplements. Joint supplements work by replacing what the horse is lacking in their diet or environment to maintain healthy joints. Anti-inflammatory supplements work by managing the inflammation that comes alongside arthritis.

Both of these options provide relief for your horse, but they don’t work for everyone. Speak to a veterinarian about which option may be best for your situation and lifestyle. Once you know what will benefit the animal, you can check out the range of supplements at the Equi Supermarket Equestrian Shop.

Hydrotherapy to strengthen your horse

One of the most popular forms of rehabilitation for arthritic horses is hydrotherapy. This involves immersing the horse in a tub or pool of warm water, which helps to loosen joints and soothe muscles. This type of therapy can be helpful in reducing pain and allowing your horse to walk more easily.

Hydrotherapy is not without risks: it is very important that you check with your vet before doing this type of therapy with your horse, as it may not be suitable for all horses or situations. There is also the risk that the horse will panic and try to jump out of the water when they first enter. However, if the vet approves, hydrotherapy can be a great way to help your arthritic horse.

Massage therapy and magnetic boots

One way to assist your arthritic horse is by using massage therapy. This can reduce pain and inflammation, make the swelling go down, and increase the range of motion. Be sure to speak to a veterinarian before treatment, as there are certain conditions that this type of therapy should not be used for.

Another option is using magnetic boots. These boots will help ease arthritis symptoms, which will give them more comfort and decrease inflammation. However, some horses are more sensitive than others when using magnetic boots, and in some cases, they will panic. When trying anything for the first time, trial it with your horse for a short time and monitor their reaction if the boots need to be removed to prevent injury.

If you’re looking for other treatments for your arthritic horse, speak with a veterinarian or equine specialist about their specific needs and what they may recommend.

Work out a treatment and management plan with your vet

One of the best things you can do for an arthritic horse is to work out a treatment and management plan with your vet. They will be able to recommend treatments and therapies that will help manage their pain. Your vet may also suggest some changes to the horse’s diet and exercise routine.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a common condition in horses and can cause pain and discomfort. Fortunately, many treatment options are available to help manage the condition and keep your horse as healthy as possible.

Arthritis can be caused by a number of factors, such as obesity, injury, or age. There are also some breeds that are more prone to arthritis than others. Your vet will be able to help you identify the causes and various treatments for arthritis.

It may be helpful to develop a care plan with your vet that includes medication and therapy. This will help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis and provide your horse with a healthier and happier life.

Top image: Photo by Mídia from Pexels

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