How to Care for and Keep an Arthritic Horse

ArticleHow to - CareWednesday 16 December 2009
Arthritic Horse Care

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If you think your horse has arthritis do not worry it could be much worse. There are lots of things you can do for an arthritic horse to make it comfortable and happy. Horse arthritis does not always mean retirement; there are lots of things you can do to help. This article gives some helpful pointers in equine care on how to ease your horse’s pain and discomfort. 

Facts on Horse Arthritis 

Arthritis occurs when there is interference with the normal bone structure and function. 
Damage to the cartilage through an injury or infection will make the cartilage rougher. 
When the joint moves it causes inflammation which restricts movement.
Ligaments become damaged and joint fluid thins.
After time new bone is formed in response to the damage, this bone is rough and causes the horse pain. 

Equine Care – Horse Arthritis

Horse Shoes – horse shoes, or the lack of, can play a major part in your horse’s arthritis. When your horse walks the hooves should make contact with the ground evenly whether naked or shod. Talk to a farrier and they will be able to give you some advice on whether or not your horse’s arthritis would improve if they were shod. Give your horse the best equine care you can afford. 
Turn Out– turn out your horse lots. Inflammation and pain can be decreased by constant gentle exercise in a pasture. The bigger the pasture the better it is for an arthritic horse. 
Riding – just because your horse has arthritis doesn’t mean it can’t be ridden. Horses love a ride and it will raise your horse’s spirit. Light to moderate riding is the best for arthritic horses so a trail is the ideal thing. 
Leg Care – arthritis in horses mainly attacks the legs; it is therefore important to have a leg care routine. Remove crusted dry mud from legs and brush out dirt and dust. You should strengthen your horse’s hooves by applying hoof dressing or lotion.
Joints – joint supplements can work wonders for your horse’s arthritis. There are many joint supplements and feed supplements on the market that can help enormously.  All feed producers have there own nutritionists and help lines that you can find on feed companies websites.  We would also recommend that you speak to your vet as they will best advise you before buying supplements.
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