Joint inflammation is by far the most common cause of lameness in horses and as many as 10 horses a day are put down because of it. A horse can get arthritis in all its joints, but the most common are the vertebral joints, the front knee and the hock. In joint inflammation, the inflammation starts in the joint capsule. This eventually leads to breakdown of the joint cartilage, thickening of the joint capsule, inflamed joint fluid and bone deposition in and on the joint.
If joint inflammation is allowed to progress over time, the joint fluid breaks down. As a result, the joint becomes dull and the joint cartilage cannot fail as well. The synovial fluid exists between the ligaments to lubricate and cushion the joints. When joint fluid is reduced, there is a risk of small fractures occurring in the bone. In the long term, there is a high risk that all the cartilage will be worn away, causing major problems. In simple terms, the problem is usually described as cartilage breaking down faster than it is building up.
Hyaluronic acid against arthritis in horses
Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the joints. There it helps the joint regain its natural mobility. It also acts as a shock absorber and has an anti-inflammatory effect. Hyaluronic acid also helps transport nutrients to the joint. As well as transporting slag products away from it. For a long time, horses have been treated with hyaluronic acid supplements for joint inflammation. This was, and still is, done through injections directly into the injured joint. The injections are called rooster combs and contain hyaluronic acid.
Veterinarians Scott and Pierce, who work at one of the world's largest equine hospitals, Rood & Riddle, in Kentucky, USA, found through research that hyaluronic acid can be given orally as a dietary supplement. This is because hyaluronic acid is transported through the gut to the joint via the CD44 receptor. In a collaboration with veterinarian Eva Skiöldebrand (EvaVet), they developed hyaluronic acid products for oral use.
Conquer 200Pro contains high-molecular hyaluronic acid (200 mg per dose). It is a supplementary feed for training, competing and older horses with the aim of promoting optimal joint function. Conquer's efficacy is clinically proven.