Glucosamine for Horses: Help With Joint Pain

If a horse suffers from pain in the ankle, it can quickly become very uncomfortable for both the animal and the rider. To help your darling, the administration of glycosaminoglycans can help. These include the vital substances MSM sulfur, but also chondroitin and glucosamine. We reveal which remedy makes sense when.

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine (or glucosamine) is an amino sugar that is primarily responsible in the horse’s body for creating and maintaining the sliding and damping layer in the joints. More precisely, this means that glucosamine plays a decisive role in the smooth functioning of cartilage (including in the spine).

In addition, amino sugar is also basic building material for the cartilage itself as well as for tendons and ligaments. If a horse has suffered an injury to the joint, the substance helps to regenerate and repair cartilage substance.

If, on the other hand, the horse has a glucosamine deficiency, the synovial fluid becomes significantly more fluid, almost watery. As a result, the joint can no longer be adequately lubricated and wears out faster, and/or causes pain.

Glucosamine Effect – This is What Amino Sugar Can Do

It has been scientifically proven that feeding glucosamine has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It even promotes the rebuilding of already damaged cartilage and joints.

It can also be used preventively to protect cartilage cells and to limit degenerative cartilage loss in old age, sometimes even to bring it to a standstill. Further damage to the cartilage can also be averted by the associated reconstruction of the synovial fluid.

Even More Effective: the Mixture with Chondroitin

If your horse suffers from osteoarthritis, there are many different types of supplementary feed that can prove to be very effective. Glucosamine is particularly effective when it is administered in combination with chondroitin. Chondroitin sulphate has been shown to be able to support the effect of glucosamine and thus achieve better results.

By the way: This does not only apply to the treatment of osteoarthritis. This combination also helps very well with other ligament or tendon complaints.

The Right Dosage

It is well known that values ​​are always argued about. So if you want to be absolutely sure, the best thing to do is to consult your veterinarian. In general, however, one assumes a glucosamine dosage of approx. 10 grams per day with a bodyweight of 600 kg. In a horse with osteoarthritis, the values ​​can be increased to up to 30 grams per 600 kg. In addition, 1 to 2 grams of chondroitin sulfate are usually administered.

If MSM or green-lipped mussel extract is also fed, the dose can, however, be reduced a little further. It is best to adapt them to the severity of your pet’s ailments.

Glucosamine HCL or Glucosamine Sulphate – Which Is Better?

Both forms are sold as additional feed and you don’t know which one to use? We recommend Glucosamine HCL. The reason? Compared to sulphate, 50% more of this is absorbed and processed. It is also the right choice for horses that are prone to allergies because the HCL eliminates impurities.

On the other hand, sulfate has the advantage that it is a sulfur molecule. Sulfur itself is a crucial transport protein, which can help to convert glucosamine quickly in the body. Basically, it is mainly a matter of taste in which form you feed it.

Both types are available as a powder, as well as capsules and tablets. Just look at what your horse can handle best and choose this variant. It makes no difference in the dosage.

Natural Alternatives or a Combination Solution?

There are also some herbs that are used for joint diseases that are said to eliminate the need for glucosamine feeding. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely true, because the plants are more like so-called secondary agents. They definitely contain active ingredients (e.g. salicylic acid) which have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the cartilage structure is missing here.

In addition, there is another problem: While glucosamine is not known to have any side effects, herbs often bring them with them. These mostly affect the stomach lining and lead to fecal water. A combination of herbs and glycosaminoglycans works best here too.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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