? Should horses get injections in their joints
Should horses get injections in their joints? .”What exactly do you intend to do to my horse? Oh, I don’t believe in joint injections. My grand prix jumper continued to compete until he was 23 years old, and he never had injections in his joints during his whole career.”
I’m going to come right out and say it. A statement of this audacity causes my thoughts to race in every direction, despite the fact that I shouldn’t judge. I can’t help but think that horse must have been some kind of natural anomaly to have felt that well for such a long time at such a high level of competition. I just can’t help but think that. Or… I have to wonder how lame that horse was when it was 23 years old and still racing. Or… She must have had a great deal of success with alternative therapies that were less intrusive. Or… So the horse wasn’t injected with anything, but how many different pain meds did it get while it was competing?
Something along these lines is played practically every day on my headphones. I have a specialisation in equestrian sports medicine as a veterinarian who works with horses. This contentious issue does not lend itself to an easy or straightforward conversation with my clients.
So, what kind of people are they?
If you compete in equestrian events, it is quite likely that you have had a horse injected or that you know someone else who has. It is generally accepted among the equestrian and horse show communities that joint injections have become somewhat of a “trendy” practise. They are also known for having a poor reputation. Some people believe that using this therapy at the very last minute or during the competition gives one an advantage over other competitors who have horses that have not been “souped up” as much. And in this particular scenario, I would agree that joint injections are a very poor choice.
More frequently, you’ll hear the tale of the horse that had corticosteroids injected into a joint once every two months so that it could keep exhibiting… sure, the horse was in extremely horrible shape.
The use of this modality to mask pain when a more serious underlying illness exists drives the horse to utilise itself more when it would normally defend this place and protect itself from additional harm. This is because the horse is forced to employ this modality.
In comparison, a competitor who schedules routine veterinarian appointments to test soundness, distinguish between injuries and inflammation, and employs joint injections in this manner in the lead-up to an event is doing a very good job.
It is not necessary for a horse to be “head bobbing” lame for there to be legitimate cause for doing routine soundness exams at various points throughout the year. You might be shocked to learn that many horse owners do not attribute performance problems to mild lameness. The majority of the time, it is not because they do not identify it; rather, they incorrectly label the disease. There are a few equestrians I know who won’t admit that their horse is lame unless it is head-bobbling or unable to bear weight on one limb. In its place, they use the term “stiff” to refer to a horse that is hesitant to do particular moves. Permit me to be direct with you: regardless of the language you choose to employ when describing it, the truth remains that these problems constitute an example of lameness.
Regular checkups provide the veterinarian the opportunity to detect even the most minute signs of lameness or a decline in performance. I strongly recommend that owners look for a veterinarian who specialises either in equine sports medicine or who has a particular interest in the performance horse. The veterinarian will carefully plan out the next round of treatments in a methodical manner. The region of concern may be examined throughout the horse’s career, regardless of whether or not you choose to treat it on that particular day. And more particularly with regard to joint injections, reducing considerable inflammation at an earlier stage may help reduce the probability of suffering a more severe damage at a later stage down the road.
One further thing to think about is the medication that is put into an injection into a joint. There is not a single type of joint injection that is superior to the rest. The speculations surrounding the use of corticosteroids and their potentially harmful effects on a joint have prompted an unusually high level of worry. Although research conducted by Colorado State University found that excessive and inappropriate use of methylprednisolone acetate, a type of corticosteroid, in a joint may have a negative impact on cartilage, another type of corticosteroid, triamcinolone acetate, has the potential to be chondroprotective. [Citation needed] (CSU Orthopaedic Research Laboratory).
Additionally, joint injections can be done utilising regenerative medicine instead of the traditional methods. The interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein, often known as IRAP, has emerged as a popular option. The inflammatory proteins within the joint, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), are the target of IRAP’s manipulation of the body’s biological systems, which in turn stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. This stops the progression of joint illness.
It should come as no surprise that every injection into a joint carries with it the potential for that joint to get infected or flare up. An owner is required to assume this risk whenever an intrusive veterinary procedure is performed on their animal. This danger can be considerably reduced with careful and competent preparation, maintenance of sterility, and handling. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed alongside other prescriptions by medical professionals, and I am no exception.
In my professional view, I do not feel that the frequency of danger is so intolerable that it warrants fully excluding treatment by joint injection from a list of available choices. Even though there is a wide variety of other treatment options for joint inflammation, the honest truth is that for some horses, joint injection has been the only treatment that has resulted in a discernible improvement in their level of comfort.
To summarise, I am of the opinion that the advantages of joint injections, when applied with sound judgement, have the potential to offset the negative connotations associated with them as well as the relatively low risk of adverse consequences. They have the potential to help prevent injuries, improve performance, and ultimately develop equine athletes that are more durable when used in conjunction with normal and frequent veterinarian examinations, as well as the appropriate fitness and training.
Equine Sport Solutions (ESS) is a veterinary practise that encourages the pursuit of excellence in the sport of equestrian riding by providing expertise in the areas of general care, athletic support, and the restoration of normal form and function in the performance horse after a musculoskeletal injury. This is accomplished by providing general care to the horses, as well as providing support for the athletes who ride them. We tailor treatment, conditioning, or rehabilitation programmes to meet the specific requirements of each individual horse and rider combination. We constantly make an effort to provide the most cutting-edge, cutting-edge technology, and progressive treatments and diagnostics that are accessible.