Arthritis and Your Older Horse - Home Remedies

There are a variety of home remedies or treatments that can be useful for your senior horse companion if he / she experiences pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Several of them are useful when used in conjunction with one another.  Keep in mind however, that what provides comfort to one horse, may not provide comfort to another.  Treat each case individually and find what works for your horse.  rwb

In the event of swollen and painful joints, veterinarians normally recommend 24 hours (or longer periods) of confinement.  A well sized stall with deep bedding or a small turn out pen with lots of soft grass underfoot, is best. If your horse doesn't do well when left alone because he / she misses a pasture mate, confine the pasture mate within close site.  

Flexible ice packs or even a bag of frozen peas tucked in a towel on swollen joints, 5 minutes on, 15 minutes off, over an hour time period is helpful in reducing some swelling and inflammation.   Neo-Ice Equine Bandages or an ice gel that provides deep penetrating action is an excellent option, as well.  

Because standing in a stall seems counterproductive and can cause joint stiffness, it's important to make sure you are  hand walking your horse several times a day during any confinded stall rest.  Gradually increase your horse's exercise while reducing stall confinement time. 

If swelling decreases and does not return within an hour or so after controlled exercise session(s) you should be able to let your senior horse return to his / her normal turnout / routine and slowly ease back into your regular exercise program. If, however, swelling and inflammation does not decrease or returns, it is recommended that you call your veterinarian to re-evaluate your horse's symptoms and situation.