Equine Joint Health
The Importance of Balance in Equine Joint Health1 Proper equine joint function requires a complex and harmonious balance of tissues that provide strength, stability and protection while affording a broad range of movement and flexibility. When in a balanced state, healthy joints provide an efficient mechanism to restore aged cells and stimulate repair in order to achieve minimal loss of essential joint cartilage. However, this ongoing joint “wear-and-repair” cycle can become overwhelmed in even the fittest of horses, when joints are overloaded from training, excessive use, injury, poor conformation, or imbalanced feet. In the equine athlete, overuse is a significant cause of a variety of lameness problems. Over time, the wear and tear of daily use or “use trauma,” exerts abnormal forces on the joint and disrupts the natural cycle of "wear and repair.” Once the natural balance of a joint is disrupted, the joint is susceptible to equine non-infectious degenerative joint disease (DJD). DJD (also commonly referred to as Osteoarthritis, or OA) may be defined as “a group of disorders characterized by a common end-stage in which progressive deterioration of the articular cartilage is accompanied by changes in bone and soft tissues of the joint.” To understand the significance of DJD, it is important to understand how cartilage functions within the joint. Cartilage is flexible living tissue composed primarily of water. Cartilage provides a smooth, lubricated surface within joints that reduces friction and disperses forces into underlying bone when joints are compressed during movement. Training and competition takes a toll on joint cartilage. Normally, loss of damaged cartilage is balanced by the equal production of new cartilage, “wear and repair.” However, when this process is disrupted by injury, net loss of cartilage occurs, and the destructive processes that occur within the joint collectively result in DJD. This imbalance in the cycle of wear and repair ultimately results in irreversible changes to cartilage and bone, which the hallmark of Osteoarthritis (OA), or the “end-stage” progression of degenerative joint disease. High-motion, weight-bearing joints are most often affected in equine DJD, i.e. carpal and hock joints. These are the joints that experience the most wear and tear during athletic movement, and are thus the most susceptible to injury. Synovitis, inflammation of the vascular lining of the joint, or capsulitis, inflammation of the fibrous joint capsule, usually initiate the destructive pathways that result in cartilage damage, resulting in lameness, joint swelling, and stiffness. The early signs of DJD can vary, so you should carefully monitor your horse for signs of joint swelling, heat, lameness, even subtle behavioral changes, or decline in performance. By the time symptoms become obvious, significant joint damage may have already occurred. Understanding DJD, and how it can uniquely manifest in your horse, is essential to knowing when to act. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice or suspect a lameness problem, and intervene early in the course of disease.

1. McIlwraith CW. Traumatic arthritic and posttraumatic osteoarthritis in the horse. In: McIlwraith CW, Frisbie DD, Kawcak CE, van Weeren PR, eds. Joint Disease in the Horse. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, 2016;33-48.

Adequan® i.m. INDICATIONS For the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.
BetaVet® INDICATIONS BetaVet® is indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in horses. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION For Intra-articular (I.A.) use in Horses. CONTRAINDICATIONS: BetaVet® is contraindicated in horses with hypersensitivity to betamethasone. Intra-articular injection of corticosteroids for local effect is contraindicated in the presence of septic arthritis. WARNINGS: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Clinical and experimental data have demonstrated that corticosteroids administered orally or parenterally to animals may induce the first stage of parturition when administered during the last trimester of pregnancy and may precipitate premature parturition followed by dystocia, fetal death, retained placenta, and metritis. Additionally, corticosteroids administered to dogs, rabbits and rodents during pregnancy have resulted in cleft palate in offspring and in other congenital anomalies including deformed forelegs, phocomelia and anasarca. Therefore, before use of corticosteroids in pregnant animals, the possible benefits to the pregnant animal should be weighed against potential hazards to its developing embryo or fetus. Human Warnings: Not for use in humans. For use in animals only. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. Consult a physician in the case of accidental human exposure. PRECAUTIONS: Corticosteroids, including BetaVet®, administered intra-articularly are systemically absorbed. Do not use in horses with acute infections. Acute moderate to severe exacerbation of pain, further loss of joint motion, fever, or malaise within several days following intra-articular injection may indicate a septic process. Because of the anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids, signs of infection in the treated joint may be masked. Due to the potential for exacerbation of clinical signs of laminitis, glucocorticoids should be used with caution in horses with a history of laminitis, or horses otherwise at a higher risk for laminitis. Use with caution in horses with chronic nephritis, equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID), and congestive heart failure. Concurrent use of other anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs or other corticosteroids, should be approached with caution. Due to the potential for systemic exposure, concomitant use of NSAIDs and corticosteroids may increase the risk of gastrointestinal, renal, and other toxicity. Consider appropriate wash out times prior to administering additional NSAIDs or corticosteroids. ADVERSE REACTIONS: Adverse reactions reported during a field study of 239 horses of various breeds which had been administered either BetaVet® (n=119) or a saline control (n=120) at five percent (5%) and above were: acute joint effusion and/or local injection site swelling (within 2 days of injection), 15% BetaVet® and 13% saline control; increased lameness (within the first 5 days), 6.7% BetaVet® and 8.3% saline control; loose stool, 5.9% BetaVet® and 8.3% saline control; increased heat in joint, 2.5% BetaVet® and 5% saline control; and depression, 5.9% BetaVet® and 1.6% saline control. DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Shake well immediately before use. Use immediately after opening, then discard any remaining contents. Use immediately after opening, then discard any remaining contents. RX ONLY

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Online ordering system for veterinarians Purchase Adequan® Equine and BetaVet® Online Now!

Or Call Customer Service Today! (800) 458-0163 For Adequan® Canine please click here to locate a distributor in your area!

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