Joints may hurt for a variety of reasons; there is the force of blunt
trauma that will cause pain; perhaps there is the normal wear and tear
that leads to a breakdown of the limb; degenerative effects of a
roughening of the previously smooth cartilage lead to a lack of synovial
fluid or connective tissue.
The number of possibilities is endless, yet there are many drugs that will help
you to take care of the pain the animal feels quickly. As a result, the
inflammation is stopped and swelling is reduced. Steroids are often used in this
approach. Yet it is noteworthy that the very injections that take away the pain
also cause a more rapid deterioration of the joints. By adversely affecting the
healing mechanism of the tissue itself, and also by eliminating the pain
response, the joints are not rested optimally and thus the joint is too quickly
weighed down again. The same may be said for the herbal remedies that work as
painkillers, in spite of the many claims their manufactures may make.
surefire way to help the joint as well as the animal’s pain response is with the
help of nutrition. By actually introducing into the animal’s system the very
nutrients it needs to cause a healing of the affected joint, and by allowing the
pain response to protect the joint from being overly weighed down, you will be
able to help your animal heal faster than with other means. Proponents of the
nutritional approach claim that a multitude of joint problems can thusly be
addressed, and surgery will become a treatment of the last resort when cartilage
is in the need of removal, or reconnection of support structures are sought.
While proper nutrition is important, some nutritional supplements will also
be needed to help the healing of connective tissues. The goal is to protect the
outside of the animals as well as the inside, and the latter can be achieved by
introducing a proper supplementation regimen to your horse’s daily routine. It
does not really matter how old your horse is, as animals of all ages can greatly
benefit from the proper supplementation. Yet it is the older horse that will
show greater benefits from this kind of treatment simply because older joints
wear out a lot faster than those of young animals.
Take for example the strides medicine made about half a century ago when it
was proven that the consumption of connective tissue could relieve arthritis.
Thus, people began to ingest shark cartilage and also gelatin and many arthritic
problems were negated. Later research pointed to chondroitin sulfates as being
the substance that provided the helpful effects. Further tests showed that
glucosamine sulphate is actually the very building block of connective tissue
that is at the root of the positive effects experienced. While chondroitin
sulfates are hard for the body to digest and thus the benefits are rarely
realized when taken orally, glucosamine sulphate is much easier on the body and
Of course, there are a number of different types of glucosamine sulphate
found in nutritional supplements; N-acetyl-glucosamine is proven not to
experience any gut uptake; Glucosamine HCI is questionable at best – it needs to
shed the HCI and a sulphate needs to be introduced for it to have any
effectiveness. Thus it is only glucosamine sulphate that has thus far been
proven to be effective. Oral doses are shows to have an affect within 30 minutes
of administration, and within four hours the joint cells have been shown to take
these nutrients from the blood.
Thus the lesson is clear: do your homework before you believe the sometimes
outlandish claims on the back of a supplement bottle; do not fall for the buzz
of the latest miracle drug but instead follow scientific study when purchasing
supplements and do not simply content yourself with masking the pain but instead
help your horse’s joints to heal.