Has your horse seemed a bit ‘not quite right’ recently? Maybe a little stiff when moving off, or uncharacteristically unwilling to work? Your equine buddy might be suffering from arthritis.

Arthritis is a common, progressive and painful degenerative joint disease believed to be responsible for 60% of all lameness.  It can affect horses of any age, breed and use. Factors that may contribute to the development of arthritis include age, poor conformation, injury; regular, high-impact work; working on hard ground, exaggerated gaits and a long career of jumping.

Signs that may indicate your horse has arthritis include:

  • Stiffness that goes away as the horse warms up.
  • Subtle changes in the way the horse moves, such as shortening of stride, hollowing of the back, or raising of the head.
  • Mild soft swelling of the joints of the distal limbs, or bony swelling in the region of joints of the distal limb.
  • Reduced range of motion in joints.
  • Reluctance to perform to normal ability.
  • Change in personality or willingness to work.
  • Some horses may prefer not to lie down as frequently due to pain when rising again.

What to do next:

It is important to diagnose and treat arthritis to help your horse live a comfortable, happy and more active life. A definitive diagnosis can be made by your veterinarian, and you may wish to consider a daily joint health treatment such as 4CYTE™ for Horses, or 4CYTE™ EPIITALIS® Forte Gel.

4CYTE™ is scientifically proven to reduce pain and repair damaged joints affected by age, injury and arthritis.

RELATED ARTICLE: Winter Care for Arthritic Horses.