Which Joint Supplement for a Senior Horse?

July 5th, 2012 4:33 PM | No Comments

Q. I’m trying to find a joint supplement for a senior horse. Most have similar ingredients but it seems you have to choose whether you want something with collagen, cetylated fatty acids, or hyaluronic acid. Which of these is most beneficial?

- Katie

A. Dear Katie,

Choosing a joint supplement for a senior horse can be challenging. You can make the task easier by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Is my horse retired, being lightly ridden, or still actively competing in rated shows?
    If you are still showing him, you may want to avoid joint supplements that contain forbidden substances such as devil’s claw. However, if he is still being ridden but not shown, or simply standing around enjoying his retirement, many herbs have anti-inflammatory and other properties that may ease stiffness and discomfort. Cetylated fatty acids are also known for their ability to fight inflammation and discomfort so they would be a good choice for any category of older horse.
  2. Does my senior horse have any stiffness or comfort issues?
    If the answer is no and you just want to put him on a joint supplement as insurance, you can probably get by with lower levels of the basics: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and MSM. However if he is consistently stiff or sore, he may do better on higher doses of these three ingredients plus hyaluronic acid, which has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent in hot, painful, swollen joints. An older horse with a history of soft tissue problems in his past (such as a bowed tendon or pulled suspensory) may also need the added support of collagen and silica.

I hope this answers your questions and has been helpful to you. Much luck in your senior supplement search!

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