These demands cause wear and tear or trauma to both high-motion joints like the stifle, coffin joint, fetlock, and carpus, as well as low-motion joints such as the lower hock and pastern, resulting in OA. We also see OA in the cervical vertebrae, elbow, and shoulder, along with other areas.
Early stages of OA generally begin with synovitis, a process in which the synovium, or lining of the joint, becomes inflamed due to the previously mentioned wear and tear. If synovitis is left untreated, the disease may progress and, as it advances, you often see cartilage defects, bony remodeling, and/or a reduced range of motion. All of this can lead to the increased pain and inflammation of the joint that commonly affects performance in these equine athletes.
Veterinarians have many ways to treat OA in horses, and a new product available to veterinarians in the United States, called Arthramid Vet, has quickly become one they are selecting for this purpose. They are excited when they learn Arthramid Vet is finally available here, because it has been used around the world for 10 years in horses to manage osteoarthritis. Until now, the only way their patients have been able to receive Arthramid Vet injections is if they were traveling abroad to countries where the product was available.
Arthramid Vet is different from other OA products on the market. It is an inert substance and does not contain any drugs or steroids; therefore, it is an excellent choice for horses competing in sanctioned events where drug testing is of paramount concern. These might include racing, dressage, eventing, show jumping, and other FEI-/U.S.-Equestrian-Federation-drug-tested events.
Arthramid Vet is composed of 2.5% polyacrylamide hydrogel. The hydrogel forms a scaffold inside the joint, providing a matrix for synovial tissue to integrate into, leading to the impressive results we see in equine lameness scores. In a recently published peer-reviewed, double-blinded, positive control study, 83% of Arthramid-Vet-2.5% PAAG-treated joints were lame-free at six weeks versus 27% for steroid and 40% hyaluronic acid (p<0.05)¹ in performance horses with carpal OA.
Ask your vet if Arthramid Vet might be a good choice for your performance horse. It is important to have your veterinarian perform a complete lameness exam, including diagnostics when indicated, if you suspect your performance horse might be suffering from OA.
Arthramid Vet. For the Champion, Backyard & Beyond!
¹ De Clifford, L.T., Lowe, J.N., McKellar, C.D., Chambers, M., David, F., A double-blinded positive control study comparing the relative efficacy of 2.5% polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAAG) against triamcinolone acetonide (TA) and sodium hyaluronate (HA) in the management of middle carpal joint lameness in racing Thoroughbreds. Journal Equine Vet Science; [Online] 2021.