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Effective Joint Supplements for Horses

Updated on December 31, 2010

Effective joint supplements for horses can keep your horse healthy and happy.

Horses often acquire joint problems resulting from regular training and exercises or the natural deterioration of their joints due to aging. Other health issues, which also contribute significantly to this problem, include adverse effects of surgery; arthritis; destruction of joint fluid, and cartilage damage. Thankfully, several joint supplements for horses are now available to relieve pain and, in many cases, repair damaged joints altogether.

When joint cartilage degenerates faster than the rate of new cartilage production, this process is commonly called arthritis, a degenerative disease that affects many aging equines. If cartilage damage occurs because of injury, this can also affect fluid within the joint. The fluid within joints acts as a cushion for joints. As its primary function is synovial membrane protection, this fluid is referred to as “synovial” fluid. When a synovial membrane is damaged, the resultant fluid loss leaves joints unprotected, and this results in inflammation, intense pain, and restricted mobility for the horse.

Products containing nutrients that promise long-term health of joints should be considered when your horse is suffering from joint pain. Two of the more common supplements, which are capable of repairing joints and cartilage and restoring joint fluid, are “Chondroitin” and “Glucosamine”. These supplements claim to offer long-term benefits, and are therefore promoted as such. Both supplements are usually made from cows’ windpipes, shark cartilage and sea mussels and are promoted as being easily absorbed and used by the system to improve joint function.

Another common yet popular horse joint supplement is “MSM”. This supplement is used as an effective substitute for joint nutrients that are shell-fish based. MSM is basically organic sulfur. As sulfur greatly lessens inflammation, it is crucial for maintaining healthy joints that are free of pain. By reducing inflammation, the pressure on tissues and nerves is relieved. Pressure relief leads to better blood circulation and flow, and subsequently hastens the healing process. However, when buying MSM products, make sure the labels specify they are U.S. made. Other countries make MSM, but more often than not, these products contain unknown additives that could well be contaminated. Some foreign producers use water filtration rather than heating techniques for the MSM production process. For optimum results, purchase genuine MSM products made by reputable, companies in the United States.

Whatever joint supplements for horses you choose, make sure that you follow all the directions on the label for the most effective results for your equine friend.

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