Effective Treatments For Arthritis in Horses

Arthritis in horses is a common condition and can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. There are many different treatments available for arthritis in horses, and the best course of action will often depend on the severity of the condition.

One option for treating arthritis in horses is medication.

There are a number of different medications that can be used to help manage pain and inflammation, and your vet will be able to advise you on the best option for your horse.

Phenylbutazone (bute)

This is a common painkiller that is used in horses and can be effective in treating arthritis pain. It is available as an oral paste or in injectable form.


This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that can be used to treat arthritis pain in horses. It is available as an oral paste.


These are drugs that are used to treat osteoporosis in humans but can also be effective in treating arthritis in horses. They work by slowing down the breakdown of bone, and can help to reduce inflammation and pain.

Hyaluronic acid

This is a substance that is found naturally in joint fluid, and can help to lubricate and protect the joints. It is available as an injectable product.


This is a steroid that can be used to treat inflammation, pain, and swelling. It is available as an injectable product such as Rapidexon.

Joint Supplements For Arthritis in Horses

There are several different joint supplements available that can help to reduce inflammation and pain. They often contain ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.


Physiotherapy can be used to help increase circulation and range of motion, and reduce pain and inflammation.

Weight management

If your horse is overweight, this can put additional strain on their joints and make arthritis pain worse. Managing your horse’s weight can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.


It is important to keep your horse moving, even if they are in pain. Gentle exercise can help to strengthen the muscles around the affected joint, and can also help to maintain range of motion. Your vet will


Another popular treatment option for arthritis is acupuncture. This ancient Chinese therapy is effective in reducing pain and inflammation and can be an excellent addition to other treatment methods.

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

Arthritis can be diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, clinical signs, and radiographs (x-rays).

Your vet will often start with a physical examination and will ask you about your horse’s history and any changes you have noticed. They will then look for signs of arthritis such as joint swelling, pain, lameness, or heat.

Radiographs are often used to confirm the diagnosis and can also help to determine the severity of the condition. In some cases, further testing such as nuclear scintigraphy or MRI may also be required.

How Can I Prevent Arthritis?

There are several things that you can do to help prevent arthritis in your horse.

These include:

  • Providing a well-balanced diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping the joints supple with regular physiotherapy or massage
  • Using joint supplements
  • Providing a comfortable, clean stall

Arthritis is a common condition in horses, but there are many different treatment options available.