Osteoarthritis (OA, degenerative and progressive joint disease) is a significant cause of pain and reduced performance in horses commonly caused by musculoskeletal trauma from natural, repetitive concussion in the lower limbs. Any horse is at risk of developing OA, but aging, diet, obesity, joint injury, and genetics can increase the chances of disease.
2 processes can initiate inflammation and cause osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a whole-joint disease.
Keeping horses’ joints healthy and managing OA requires a multimodal approach.
Addressing conformation defects (using strengthening exercises and corrective shoeing, for example), training strategies, and weight go a long way toward reducing joint trauma and inflammation.