Help your horse stay active longer

Recent estimates indicate up to 60% of lameness problems in horses are associated with arthritis,1 making it the most common cause of equine lameness. As horses live longer,2 veterinarians and owners are looking for ways to help maintain soundness by addressing mobility issues early. Proactively seeking a veterinarian’s diagnosis and treatment when injury or disease occurs is key to maximizing and maintaining healthy joints over your horse’s career and life span.

In healthy, aging horses, lameness is the No. 1 concern identified by owners & veterinarians.3

A treatment option for arthritis

If your horse is diagnosed with arthritis, your veterinarian may recommend an approach that includes Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), the only medication available that’s proven to proactively treat the disease and not just the symptoms of arthritis.3

What is equine arthritis?

Commonly diagnosed as degenerative joint disease (DJD), equine arthritis is a painful disease characterized by progressive deterioration of joint cartilage and changes in bone and soft tissues of the joint.4

Early symptoms of arthritis in horses1,2

Swollen joints

Lameness that causes limping or reduced performance

Decreased range of motion

Stiffness when leaving the stall or starting work

Subtle changes in overall demeanor

The importance of preserving cartilage1

Cartilage is a highly specialized connective tissue in a horse’s joints that helps bones glide over each other. Because cartilage is subjected to the daily wear and tear of every movement, it is prone to progressive deterioration over time. Plus, it contains no blood vessels, lymphatics or nerves, giving it a limited capacity to heal and repair. Once cartilage wears away completely, it cannot be restored. That’s why maintaining healthy cartilage is paramount to keeping joints healthy.

Once cartilage is eroded, bone-on-bone contact can occur,
causing pain and abnormal wear and tear on joints.

Arthritis can affect any horse of any age or discipline

Whether a horse is a 2-year-old in training, a mature weekend warrior or a geriatric companion, proactive collaboration between veterinarians, owners and trainers to identify and manage arthritis is pivotal to healthy longevity—and mobility.

When you start with and stay with Adequan i.m., your horse may enjoy greater mobility over a lifetime.1,4,6

Tips to keep your horse’s joints healthy at every stage of life1,2

Manage a healthy weight

Encourage regular movement and exercise

Provide balanced nutrition, particularly during growth phase

Allow time for appropriate cooling after exercise

Understand the signs of potential joint problems

Work with your veterinarian to diagnose and treat joint disease issues early

Adequan® i.m. is recommended for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses.

There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG). Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. For full prescribing information, click here.

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  1. McIlwraith CW, Frisbie DD, Kawcak CE, van Weeren PR. Joint Disease in the Horse. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, 2016;33-48.
  2. USDA. Equine 2015: “Changes in the U.S. Equine Industry, 1998–2015” USDA–APHIS–VS–CEAH–NAHMS. Fort Collins, CO #723.0517.
  3. McFarlane D. “How to Establish a HealthCare Program for the Aging Horse in Equine Practice,” AAEP Proceedings, 62:2016.
  4. Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), Package Insert. American Regent, Inc.
  5. McIlwraith CW, Frisbie DD, Kawcak CE. The horse as a model of naturally occurring osteoarthritis. Bone Joint Res. 2012;1(11):297-309.
  6. Kim DY, Taylor HW, Moore RM, Paulsen DB, Cho DY. Articular chondrocyte apoptosis in equine osteoarthritis. The Veterinary Journal 2003;166:52-57.