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By: Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow
Ever have a horse whose joints go snap, crackle, and pop as he’s walking? Equine sports can be rough on joints. And, the older a horse gets the odds are arthritis will occur causing noisy and painful changes in his joints.
Osteoarthritis is most common in a horse’s weight-bearing joints such as the hock, fetlock, pastern, and coffin joints. It is less common for a horse to develop arthritis in the stifle joints and spinal column, but it does happen. And, osteoarthritis can affect other joints where there’s been an injury or repetitive, abnormal stress applied over a period of time.
Early detection of arthritis affords the opportunity to slow the progression of the disease. Early signs of arthritis can be:
More severe indications of arthritis include the same list of indicators given above but more exaggerated, plus – your horse will most likely exhibit some degree of lameness because his joints are painful. Arthritis hurts!
After thousands of years of clinical observation, Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have shown by stimulating particular acupressure points (also called “acupoints”) we can enhance the harmonious flow of energy, called “Chi,” and blood through and around the horse’s joints. These acupoints nourish the joints by facilitating the supply of vital substances to the cartilage, bone, and soft tissues.