What is the right time to start giving joint supplements to a horse? Should you start supplements only when you notice symptoms of joint problems? These are some of the questions that come to the mind of every new horse owner. In today’s blog post, we will explore the right time to start using joint supplements.
One of the most important things horse owners need to understand is that permanent damage in joints cannot be reversed. This is why your focus should be on avoiding or delaying the onset of osteoarthritis as much as possible.
Typical Age for Developing Osteoarthritis
It is estimated that almost 60% of joint problems in horses are due to osteoarthritis. Horses as young as 5 years of age may start showing symptoms of joint degradation. Joint problems are not just caused by arthritis. Athletic trauma is the most common cause of joint issues in young horses.
Regular wear and tear, injury or repeated trauma may start breaking down the cartilage and the horse may not feel pain initially. The reason being is that there are no nerves in the cartilage to send pain signals.
Since cartilage is a tissue that surrounds the bone and provides it with much-needed lubrication, the joints are not exposed until the cartilage has completely worn away. Once the cartilage is gone, one bone starts rubbing against another bone and it becomes painful for the horse.
As discussed earlier, this is a condition that cannot be reversed or cured. The goal of arthritis treatment is to minimise pain and slow the pace of degradation. This is why it is important to start your horse joint supplements before the joint degradation happens.
The Right Time for Starting Joint Supplements
One thing you need to know is that a horse keeps growing at a fast pace until they reach 2 years of age but after that its growth slows down significantly. It will take another few years for them to reach their full adult height but 2 years of age is the right time to start giving them low maintenance dosage of supplements.
Start with the basics and keep increasing the dosage and add other elements once they begin training. All horses experience natural cartilage breakdown due to daily use and once you start giving them joint supplements, it helps with healing and allows them to remain healthy.
Which Supplements Should You Give to Your Horse?
When it comes to joint supplements, the most popular choices include chondroitin, glucosamine, MSM, and hyaluronic acid. These are widely known as the building blocks for joint cartilage.
It is also important to mention here that these compounds work best in conjunction with each other. Certain other compounds may also be added after consulting with an experienced veterinarian. For example, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be helpful in reducing inflammation.
How to Choose the Right Brand of Joint Supplements?There are hundreds of brands out there and every brand claims to be the ideal combination of beneficial compounds for joint health. However, a deeper study of several such brands has shown that many such combinations lack the optimum amount of active ingredients. On top of that, many companies put in a lot of fillers that may not necessarily harm your horses but they are also not good for them.
Overall, you can start giving joint supplements to your horse when they reach 2 years of age. Start with a low basic dosage and start increasing the dosage as well as adding a few other compounds depending on their workload. Needless to say, you should talk to an experienced veterinarian before starting any new supplement.
The Equine America NZ supplements are one of the most respected brands worldwide. We have been active in this industry for more than 25 years and are known to have the highest-quality joint supplements using only the freshest, most innovative and most effective ingredients.
Please give us a call at Equine America NZ today at 0800 440 888 to learn more or leave an enquiry.