Horse Health


Cross-section of a fetlock joint

Cross-section of a fetlock joint.

Osteoarthritis is very common in the joints of mature performance horses. It is usually accompanied by inflammation of the joint capsule lining.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint but is frequently encountered in distal interphalangeal (coffin), metacarpophalangeal (fetlock), tarsometatarsal and distal intertarsal (hock) joints.

Diagnosis is confirmed by radiography following successful intra-articular analgesia.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Treatment frequently involves the injection of corticosteroids and / or hyaluronan or hyaluronic acid into a joint to break the inflammatory cycle. Rest and NSAIDs are also important treatment options.