Arthritis in Horses
One of the most common physical problems that I get called to work on is arthritis or joint pain.
There are several causes of arthritis, not limited to old age, repetitive strain, injuries and nutritional deficiencies.
Primarily we can to make sure the horse isn't in pain on a daily basis. There are basic environmental and lifestyle changes that can be made to improve the day-to-day movement capabilities.
There are also dietary changes that can be made to make sure the horse is getting enough vitamins and minerals to support their joints.
Lastly, we want to come up with a customized pain management plan depending on whether the issue is acute or permanent.
Pain Management Approach: Some animals become more sensitive to touch when they are in pain so assessing the animals current state and gathering a general background is the first step. We discuss what options you've tried before (if any) and decide on a plan together. Often this includes cold laser, proper joint supplements, and/or acupressure. This always includes some lifestyle changes including environmental, as well as exercise and diet changes.
Injury Approach: The first step in this case is to speak to the vet in case the animal needs x-rays or surgery. For minor injuries or post-surgery cases, acupressure and/or cold laser can help speed the healing and minimize pain. For more severe cases this usually results in some lifestyle changes for the horses, such as minimizing jumping and exposure to rowdy herd mates, etc.