A veterinarian checks horse’s joints.

One of the most important factors in a horse’s overall wellbeing is the horse’s joint health. Are you doing enough to improve your horse’s joint health? With arthritis preventives, treatments and therapies available today from, it’s easier than ever to help horses live long and happy lives.

Racehorsemeds is going to give you a rundown of injectable products, feed supplements and biological treatments that can help prevent equine arthritis, encourage healing if the horse has equine arthritis, and promote overall joint health.

Taking the proper steps to protect joint health can not only aid in healing after injury but also combat general wear and tear, which will preserve the horse’s athleticism as well as his quality of their life.


Here are the Ten Things You Need for Your Horse’s Joint Health


Glucosamine is an amino sugar that the horse’s body uses to produce and repair cartilage. Often combined with chondroitin in oral supplements for horses, glucosamine is most commonly derived from the shells of shellfish but it can also be produced using Aspergillus niger fungus or from fermenting corn.

Hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid, HA) also known as sodium hyaluronate, HA binds to water to create a viscous, lubricating fluid. Found in connective tissue, cartilage and synovial fluid, HA can be injected directly into arthritic joints, administered as an intravenous or administered orally through feed supplements. HA has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the production of more HA, which thickens the synovial fluid and increases its cushioning ability within the joint.

Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP) IRAP blocks a protein that accelerates joint damage. Serum containing IRAP and other beneficial mediators is derived from a horse’s own blood. It is injected into the same horse’s inflamed joint.


MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), derived from DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), is an organic compound containing sulfur, which is used in the production of collagen and connective tissue. MSM helps give collagen stability and strength and enhances the function of glucosamine.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications interrupt the inflammatory process of arthritis, providing pain relief while slowing the cycle of cartilage destruction. Some NSAIDs, such as phenylbutazone, inhibit protective as well as destructive enzymes, raising the potential of adverse side effects, such as gastric ulcers, with long-term use. The drug firocoxib (Equioxx) belongs to a different class of NSAIDs that inhibit only destructive enzymes.


Corticosteroids mimic the effects of hormones produced by the adrenal gland. Oral corticosteroids are usually used for horses with multiple joint problems or when the affected joint is not identified. When prescribed in levels higher than naturally found in the body, they suppress systemic inflammation. Injectable corticosteroids have a powerful anti-inflammatory action that halts destructive processes while relieving the horse’s pain. They do have some potential side effects, however, including adverse impact on cartilage and increased risk of laminitis among horses predisposed to the condition.

Polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAGs) are complex sugars naturally found in articular cartilage. Injected to stimulate production of hyaluronic acid as well as inhibit the degeneration of cartilage, PSGAGs have an anti-inflammatory effect and are believed to stimulate the production of synovial fluid, prevent further degradation of cartilage and facilitate repair. The most common PSGAG can be injected intramuscularly as well as directly into a joint.

Resveratrol is a compound derived from the skin of red grapes that is believed to have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells against the effects of free-radicals, helping to reduce the body’s inflammatory response. Research suggests that resveratrol dietary supplements can be beneficial to joint heath when used by themselves or in conjunction with joint s.

Soybean and avocado extracts (avocado soybean unsaponifiables) blocks inflammatory chemicals, prevents deterioration of cartilage and stimulates the repair of connective tissue. Feeding your horses avocados and soybeans will not have a beneficial effect.

Stem-cell therapy involves harvesting undifferentiated cells from a horse’s body and, in most cases, injecting them back into the same horse’s damaged joint to turn into cartilage cells for repairs. One of the latest developments in this field is extracting stem cells from tooth buds of newborn foals to inject into other horses.


A horse’s joints power, his motion, and keeping them healthy is key to keeping the horse moving comfortably. Joint Health Awareness Month was created by SmartPak to spread the word about how riders can help their horses stay happy, healthy, and moving comfortably for years to come. Plenty of these products and more are available at phenomenal prices on Shop now for great prices on hard to find equine supplements and vitamins.