Options for Equine Joint Therapy

As a horse owner, trainer or farm manager, you make everyday decisions that affect your horse’s health. With unique joint health needs, individual training regimens and demanding competition schedules, it can be a challenge to properly manage joint health.

That’s why LEGEND (hyaluronate sodium) joint therapy from Merial has the flexibility to meet the needs of performance horses. LEGEND is the first FDA-approved synovitis treatment available for both intravenous (IV) and intra-articular (IA) administration.

IV or IA: LEGEND Gives You and Your Veterinarian Options

Work with your veterinarian to discuss which LEGEND treatment is best for your horse. There are likely several factors to consider in this decision: 

  • What are your horse’s current risk factors for joint issues – is he just starting into a training program and showing few signs of joint stress or is he a seasoned competition horse that may have ongoing inflammation or even changes in his joints?
  • How close are you to competing?
  • Can your horse be laid up for a short time after treatment?
  • Have you had diagnostic work done to pinpoint and know more about any specific issues your horse may have? 

Based on the answers to these and other questions, LEGEND provides your veterinarian with two options. IV administration treats multiple joints* with a single injection, while IA administration (often in conjunction with a steroid1) allows your veterinarian to treat a specific affected joint. When IV or IA administration of LEGEND is recommended by your veterinarian, you can have confidence that LEGEND is pure hyaluronic acid (HA) produced through a 12-step microfiltration process that removes foreign proteins and other impurities that may increase the potential for infection or joint flares.

“With LEGEND, your veterinarian can provide options for your horse’s situation,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Manager, Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services. “Some diagnoses may warrant IA injection, while IV therapy may be a better fit at other times including closer to competition where downtime isn’t an option. Some horses in continued work with only subclinical synovitis may only be candidates for IV treatment, while horses identified with individual joint changes may get an IA injection followed by periodic IV injections to treat ongoing low-level or intermittent issues, as LEGEND is labeled to be used for three weekly treatments. It’s a huge reassurance to have options with two routes of administration to fit into your training and competition schedules.”

Whether delivered IV or IA, LEGEND treats non-infectious synovitis,2 and when administered once weekly for 3 weeks, LEGEND significantly reduced joint inflammation and resulting lameness for at least 45 days.3

Work with your veterinarian to determine what treatment option is best for your horse. Treat synovitis associated with equine osteoarthritis based on your horse’s needs and on your horse’s schedule with LEGEND. Start the conversation with your veterinarian today about three weekly treatments for ongoing subclinical synovitis associated with routine training and competition. 

The safety of LEGEND has not been evaluated in breeding stallions or in breeding, pregnant or lactating mares. The following adverse reactions have been reported following use of LEGEND Injectable Solution: Following intravenous use: occasional depression, lethargy, and fever. Following intra-articular (LEGEND Injectable Solution – 2 mL only) use: lameness, joint effusion, joint or injection site swelling, and joint pain.

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products that focus on disease prevention and overall health and wellness in animals. Merial has three main business areas: pets, farm animals, and veterinary public health, and our health solutions target more than 200 diseases and conditions across a variety of species. Merial employs 6,900 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over €2.5 billion of sales in 2015. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please see; @Merial.

®LEGEND is a registered trademark of Merial, Inc. ©2016 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIOLG1625 (11/16)

*Carpus and fetlock
1. Lameness & Joint Medications. American Association of Equine Practitioners. Available at:
Accessed Oct. 10, 2016.
2. FOI summaries
3. Kawcak CE, Frisbie DD, Trotter GW, et al. Effects of intravenous administration of sodium hyaluronate on carpal joints in exercising horses after arthroscopic surgery and osteochondral fragmentation. Am J Vet Res. 1997;58(10):1132-1140






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