science4How to protect your horse’s joints?

The action you take will depend on the circumstances around what ‘clincally’ you are seeing. Your first port of call for your horse should be professional veterinary advice, more so in the setting of an acute trauma. It’s important to understand that when there is trauma that involves laceration or puncture of the joint capsules, acute management will be the most important factor in avoiding infection and more specifically joint sepsis thereby ensuring a good prognosis.

There are many ‘joint supplements’ on the market and confusion arises as to which product to select. It is essential to understand what we are trying to achieve with a ‘joint’ product.

Long-term management of your horse’s joint health should firstly be focussed on  providing the essential high quality key building blocks to the joint so that adequate maintenance and repair can occur throughout the horse’s life. In the same way we care for our horses by providing good nutrition through feed we also need to provide specific and targeted joint nutrition for the long-term health of our horse’s joints.

Anti-inflammatories are part of acute management including the management of arthritic flares.  Important considerations are that anti-inflammatories only treat inflammation and do not provide active substrate that can be utilised by the joint for the benefit of maintenance and repair. That’s where oral supplements that contain the correct substrates come into play.

So what are the essential building blocks that horse’s joints need?

glucosamine-sulphate-molecular-structureGlucosamine Sulphate: Glucosamine Sulphate is a key building block used for the production of cartilage. Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula Two uses Glucosamine Sulphate as it is the only form of Glucosamine found naturally in healthy joints rather than the most commonly used Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL). Studies suggest that the sulphated glucosamine increases synovial sulphate concentrations, which is very important for cartilage maintenance and repair, and low sulphate levels can slow this process.

Chondroitin-4-Sulphate: Chondroitin-4-Sulphate is the major form of Chondroitin found in young healthy joints. It is one of the key components that gives cartilage its ability to absorb impact and resist wear. Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula Two uses a high purity bovine derived Chondroitin-4-Sulphate due to its low molecular weight (small particle size) which is essential for efficient absorption, as opposed to the commonly used Chondroitin-6-Sulphate that is shark or marine-derived with a larger molecular weight. Research studies suggest that Chondroitin-4-Sulphate plays a role in preventing destructive enzymes associated with cartilage breakdown as well as having a general anti-inflammatory action.