Fact Sheet: Supporting Equine Joint Health

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What does your multimodal treatment plan for OA look like?

While once considered a disease of articular cartilage, we now know osteoarthritis (OA) is a “whole joint” disease. It affects the articular cartilage lining the edges of bones within the synovial fluid-filled joint, the subchondral bone lying directly under the cartilage, the joint capsule/membrane (wall/lining), and the supporting soft tissues (e.g., muscle, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, menisci).¹ Musculoskeletal trauma from natural, repetitive concussion of the lower limbs or sport-related injuries commonly contribute to OA development.

Current estimates indicate one in five horses has this painful, degenerative, and progressive condition.1-3 Therefore, OA is one of the most common joint disorders of horses and a leading cause of disability.4 While any horse is at risk of developing OA, aging, nutrition, obesity, joint injury, and genetics are specific risk factors that increase the chances of disease.¹

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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