Healthy, normal functioning joints are essential in performance horses. Beyond the temporary effects of interfering with training and competition schedules, joint pain and inflammation lead to poor performance. Left untreated, inflammation from synovitis can worsen and lead to permanent cartilage degradation and other irreversible joint damage associated with osteoarthritis (OA).
Joint inflammation happens in all equine performance disciplines. The daily activities of horses in training can lead to everyday wear and tear on the joint, which results in synovial membrane and joint capsule inflammation (synovitis and capsulitis). In most cases of equine OA, it’s this stress on the joint that initiates the process.
The healthy cartilage functions much like a sponge, absorbing synovial fluid during joint movement. As a result of inflammation, the articular cartilage becomes dehydrated. This creates more damage, which creates more inflammation in a self-perpetuating cycle. Following repeated bouts of inflammation, there is eventually loss of cartilage and permanent bony changes (OA).
Common signs associated with OA are stiffness and lameness, which are familiar words in the world of equine sports medicine.¹ If your horse shows these signs, consider speaking to your veterinarian about using LEGEND (hyaluronate sodium) or EQUIOXX (firocoxib) to control joint inflammation.
LEGEND is proven to safely and effectively treat non-infectious synovitis associated with equine OA.² It reduces joint inflammation as well as clinical and subclinical synovitis.
Many competitors choose a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as EQUIOXX because it provides relief of equine inflammation in just one daily dose.³ For competitions, EQUIOXX is the only NSAID approved for use up to 14 consecutive days by both the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).4,5 BANAMINE (flunixin meglumine) and Phenylbutazone can be used for no more than five consecutive days in AQHA and USEF competitions.4,5
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
LEGEND: 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.
EQUIOXX: As with any prescription medication, prior to use, a veterinarian should perform a physical examination and review the horse’s medical history. A veterinarian should advise horse owners to observe for signs of potential drug toxicity. As a class, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be associated with gastrointestinal, hepatic and renal toxicity. Use with other NSAIDs, corticosteroids or nephrotoxic medication should be avoided. EQUIOXX has not been tested in horses less than 1 year of age or in breeding horses, or pregnant or lactating mares. For additional information, please refer to the prescribing information or visit www.equioxx.com.
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 www.merial.com; @Merial.
1. Carmona JU, Prades M. Pathophysiology of Osteoarthritis. Compendium Equine. 2009;4:28- 40.
2. LEGEND product label.
3. EQUIOXX product label.
4. AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulation. 2016:VIO405. Available at: https://www.aqha.com/media/9467/aqha-handbook-2016.pdf. Accessed Feb. 22, 2016.
5. United States Equestrian Federation. Drugs and Medications Guidelines. 2015:8-9. Available at: https://www.usef.org/documents/drugsMeds/2015/drugsmedsguidelines15_web.pdf. Accessed July 16, 2015.