Supplement for Arthritis in Horses

By: Mary
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Arthritis, which is clinically called degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a condition that affects many horses. It is not only painful, but it also makes it difficult for a horse to do its regular routine. Arthritis is usually defined as a slowly developing chronic disease of the joint in which the joint surface or the cartilage wears down, causing pain, even lameness in horses. Although arthritis cannot be treated, it can be managed. This condition is an inevitable change that a horse experiences as it age. But with the best supplement for arthritis in horses, it is possible to prevent its development. It will also provide relief should your horse start to manifest signs of this condition.

The 2016 National Equine Health Survey indicates that, “the most frequent disease syndrome recorded was lameness, accounting for one third of all problems reported”. Furthermore, the degenerative joint disease (DJD) was indicated in the same survey to be the most frequently reported single cause of lameness (41.2% of all lameness and 13.5% of all syndromes recorded). As clearly indicated, joint health is a major area of concern for many horse owners. It is health issue that also deserves serious attention by those concerned individuals.

Supplement for Arthritis in Horses

Best Supplement for Arthritis in Horses

Fortunately, there are a variety of options when it comes to joint supplements that can be considered, aside from the diet and other essentials provided to a horse that will ensure its overall health.

Here is a list of some of the products that have been considered as effective solution to arthritis in horses.


This joint supplement comes as an injectable solution that contains Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan of PSGAGs, which is a component of the joint cartilage.

Adequan may be an ideal solution when you find it difficult for your horse to take oral supplements. This supplement is intended for low-grade chronic joint soreness. It is also used as preventive solution for joint problems in aging horses that usually do heavy work.

This joint supplement should be considered for any horse who is having difficulty in training but does not show the cause of its pain. The horse may be experiencing a very low-level of joint pain that is making it difficult for the horse to learn and perform as it is expected to.


Antioxidants neutralize the free radicals produced by heavy exercises, which can cause the joint fluid to get thin. There are naturally-occurring antioxidants that may be provided to the horse, such as the blue-green algae, noni juice, mangosteen juice, wheat sprouts, vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, omega-3 fatty acids, and certain minerals such as sulphur. Antioxidants are known to support good health joints. They are noted to be excellent for horses who undergo heavy training or those that appear on show circuits.

Bute and Banamine

These are prescription drugs that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Though they offer pain relief to horses, they can have many side effects and may also interfere with healing. It is important that a veterinarian be consulted before these drugs are administered to your horse. These drugs should be reserved for acute injuries and should be the last resort for chronic pain when all other supplements/medications have failed.

Devil’s Claw

This herb is proven to support the digestive, urinary, as well as circulatory systems. They are known to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative, and diuretic effects. This herb works well when provided to the horse together with yucca. Although this herb is not as irritating as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, it can aggravate certain health issues in horses, such as ulcers.


This is natural compound that is found in the joint cartilage. However, the body cannot use this component effectively by itself. A supplement that combines glucosamine with chondroitin sulphate, minerals, and antioxidants is a good option in this case.


Legend is an intravenous injection made with hyaluronic acid, which causes the joint fluid to thicken and also decrease inflammation in the joints.


This supplement is a naturally occurring sulfur compound that contains high levels of the antioxidant mineral sulphur. It is known to be generally supportive of the health of muscles and connective tissues than joints. But as sulphur is a component of the cartilage and is also an antioxidant, it can be helpful in preventing joint damage.

When looking for the best supplement for arthritis in horses, it is still a smart thing to consult your local vet for the most applicable solution and the latest information for joint health and joint supplements for horses.