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Joint Health and Joint Supplement Ingredients Defined

Julie Frykman

Posted on January 24 2019

Equine Joint Health and Joint Supplement Ingredients Defined

With 60% of lameness issues in horses due to joint deterioration and no cure for for it - equine joint problems hit every equestrian at least once in the lifetime of owning horses. How you deal with is as varying as the issues that come up themselves. 

Because once joint deterioration starts, it will only continue to get worse. Depending on the horses age or workload, you may choose to retire, supplement, medicate or all three. Keeping your horse moving freely and comfortably is the outcome of all riders who want the best for their horse.  

Recently our older, semi-retired mare began showing signs of age and wear-and-tear related joint lameness. After an examination from our vet, he suggested starting her on a regiment with a mixture of hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and MSM to help her stay comfortable for light riding. 

These terms can be mystifying and overwhelming at first. So here is a quick, simple definition from WebMD of each one:

hyaluronic acidis a substance that is naturally present in the body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.

chondroitin sulfateis a chemical that is normally found in cartilage around joints in the body. Chondroitin sulfate is usually manufactured from animal sources, such as shark and cow cartilage.

glucosaminea sulfate that is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body. It is in the fluid that is around joints. Glucosamine is also found in other places in nature. For example, the glucosamine sulfate that is put into dietary supplements is often harvested from the shells of shellfish. Glucosamine sulfate used in supplements can also be made in a laboratory.

MSMMethylsulfonylmethane (or MSM) is a chemical found in green plants, animals, and humans. It can also be made in a laboratory. Research shows that taking MSM alone or together with glucosamine, can slightly reduce pain and swelling and improve function in people and animals with osteoarthritis. Taking  MSM with other joint supplements might reduce the need for anti-inflammatory drugs and reduce pain.

You will find a plethora of joint supplements out there. My vet suggested Cosequin ASU or Leg Up for cost effectiveness. 

Have you tried something? Share with us below what has worked for you.

xoxo Julie, Sophia & Whitney

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