Lameness is one of the major pathologies in horses and one of the main reasons for visits to equine vets.


Lameness is one of the major pathologies in horses and one of the main reasons for visits to equine vets.
All categories of horses are concerned, from those used for leisure activities through to racehorses...
Locomotion pathologies often cause intense pain leading to clear-cut lameness.

However, depending on the location of lesions and intensity of the pain, such disorders may have less marked clinical manifestations, generating symptoms that are highly variable in their intensity.
Discomfort, manifested by an irregular or asymmetrical gait, may handicap racehorses or competition horses: this type of atypical lameness can lead to a drop in the performance of these athletes.
The origins of lameness may vary, but treatment often boils down to symptomatic anti-inflammatory injections.

Ceva animal has a range of anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and chondroprotective agents for use in horses.This range includes Joint Guard®, Pentosan Equine, Halo® IV Injection, Glucosamine 200 and Tildren®.

Recent advances using a combination of pentosan polysulphate, glucosamine & hyaluronic acid are showing favourable results in a trial being carried out by Sydney University researchers. For more information see the article online.

Joint Guard® for Horses

During a maximum speed gallop, at the stage of the gait when only one leg is supporting the horse, the forces transmitted through the bones and joints can be up to 18,000 pounds per square inch. That is tremendous pressure by any terms, and all of this force is transmitted directly through the essential joint structures, especially cartilage, then into the bones.

The tremendous forces exerted on skeletal joints (fetlock, knee, stifle and hock) during training & competition cause wear and tear to the joint cartilage.

A joint is a junction of any two or more bones. Immersed in synovial (joint) fluid, it is structured to allow smooth, low friction, controlled movement, while maintaining strength and support by transmitting the large loads to the underlying bones. Because of cartilage, synovial joints can withstand tremendous forces and repetitive motions which would quickly destroy most man-made materials.
Of all the component parts of a joint, the articular cartilage plays the most vital role in joint function, by reducing friction during joint movement and absorbing shock, without pain, as well as providing flexible support.
Cartilage is an unusual tissue, as it contains no nerves or blood vessels.
All nutrients required by cartilage for the constant repair and maintenance of joints are supplied by diffusion from the blood supply in the underlying bone, or from the synovial (joint) fluid.

The poor blood supply to cartilage is a primary factor in why joint and cartilage damage is so serious and difficult to treat. Cartilage does have limitations: all body cells, including joint cartilage, must undergo repair constantly to keep pace with breakdown that occurs during normal daily activity.

Cartilage has a huge capacity to replenish its major components in response to the forces placed upon it, by manufacturing large amounts of collagen and proteoglycans. Collagen is a tough, ropey protein which connects all the cartilage tissues, and provides the tensile strength of cartilage. Proteoglycans provide the resilience required when compressive forces are applied to cartilage (when horse is weight bearing).

The continuous manufacturing of components for joint cartilage repair and maintenance generates extremely high demands for the building blocks of both collagen and proteoglycans. If these raw materials are not available in the amounts required, at the right time, the repair process is impaired or halted. There are several ESSENTIAL raw materials for cartilage repair, required on a daily basis:
Glucosamine - is the major building block for manufacturing glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and hyaluronic acid (the major component of joint fluid). Its primary role is to stimulate the secretion of GAGs in the cartilage. The hydrochloride (HCl) form is highly bioavailable.
Chondroitin Sulfate - in addition to being the major GAG found in cartilage, its primary role is to inhibit many of the degradative enzymes which break down damaged cartilage.
Manganese - this is an essential co-factor in the process of manufacturing GAGs for repair.
Ascorbate (Vitamin C) - is also essential for synthesis of collagen.

The combination of these components in any supplement for joint repair and protection has what is called a chondroprotective effect (joint protective), where Glucosamine increases the synthesis of cartilage while Chondroitin sulfate inhibits cartilage breakdown. Without Manganese and Vitamin C, these activities cannot take place with maximum efficiency.

There is a synergistic effect when these components are combined in any supplement, where the response to the combination is far better than the response from any one individual component.

Drug therapy for joint degeneration focuses primarily on the use of anti-inflammatory agents to reduce pain and inflammation during the acute stages. While these are effective in pain control, the corticosteroids and NSAIDs also actually prevent or reduce further joint repair processes initiated by the body. The side effects of these approaches are well known.

No matter what type of horse activity is considered, from racing to endurance or eventing, there will be ongoing joint cartilage damage, where often years of training and preparation are lost because a joint is not able to be rejuvenated or maintained.

Prevention is Better Than Cure: Newer approaches to joint maintenance allow for both:

(a) Protection of joint cartilage during training and competition to reduce cartilage injury, and
(b) Therapy of existing cartilage degeneration.

Joint Guard provides all the essential components and cofactors for cartilage repair and maintenance, and is designed for daily administration in the diet to help prevent cartilage degeneration, by supplying critical components on a daily basis. This is a protective effect.

Research trials on combinations of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Manganese and Vitamin C report a significant synergy between these components, and a Chondroprotective, as well as mild anti-inflammatory effect following regular administration.
By using low daily preventive doses from an early stage, it is possible to avoid the expense of administering very high doses of this product after any injury, to try to achieve high blood levels rapidly. Joint Guard is formulated specifically for regular, cost-effective, low dose administration.

Pentosan Equine acts in synergy with Joint Guard, where combining both products a markedly improved response than either product used alone.


Pentosan Equine (Pentosan polysulfate sodium)

Pentosan Equine is an aid in the treatment of non-infectious, inflammatory joint disease in horses. In particular: Osteoarthritis - especially with involvement of multiple joints, Osteochondrosis dissecans, and Traumatic joint and peri-articular inflammation. Pentosan Equine actively reverses existing joint damage and protects against further degredation via 5 direct actions.

  1. Improves Cartilage Quality - Chondrocytes are stimulated to produce more proteoglycans to build and repair cartilage matrix
  2. Improves joint Fluid Quality - Synovial fibroblasts are stimulated to produce increased amounts of high molecular weight hyaluronic acid resulting resulting in more normally-viscous joint fluid for optimal lubrication and shock absorption
  3. Provides Anit-Inflammatory Activity - Inflammation is reduced via a powerful inhibitory effect on all mediators of the arachidonic acid cascade and lysosomal catabolic  enzymes. Leukocyte migration into joints is also reduced.
  4. Inhibits Destructive Enzymes - The release of many degradative enzymes which damage cartilage and cause peri-articular inflammation are inhibited. In addition, release of an enzyme which inhibits these degradative enzymes is stimulated.
  5. Increases Blood Supply to Joints - Strong fibrinolytic action promotes dissolution of thrombi and fibrin deposits, and mobilisation of lipids and cholesterol in synovial tissues and subchondral blood vessels. This improves blood exchange to maximise healing ability and promote normal intraosseus pressure.

Halo® (Sodium hyaluronate)

In joint disease, inflammation leads to the accumulation of inflammatory cells and degradative enzymes in the joint fluid which break down HA.
 The loss of HA results in lowered viscosity of the joint fluid and further influx of inflammatory cells, leading to further cartilage damage and worsening joint disease. Supplementation of sodium hyaluronate helps to replace HA lost as a result of joint disease and thereby restores lubrication of the joint, reduces inflammatory infiltrates and minimises ongoing damage.

Glucosamine 200 (Glucosamine hydrochloride)

Glucosamine is utilised in the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) which then combine with hyaluronic acid (HA) to form large proteoglycans in the matrix of cartilage. As such, glucosamine is a fundamental molecule for the synthesis and structure of cartilage. A growing body of evidence supports the pain-relieving and potentially chondroprotective properties of glucosamine. Notably, glucosamine prevents degradation of cartilage proteoglycans in vitro and upregulates production of proteoglycan by chondrocytes. Glucosamine has also been shown in vitro to protect against the inhibition of proteoglycan production in chondrocytes caused by methylprednisolone.

Pentosan polysulfate, as contained in Nature Vet's Pentosan Equine Injection, is known to stimulate cartilage healing, a process which utilises glucosamine for production of GAGs and HA.
 Combining glucosamine injections prior to and/or at the time of Pentosan Equine administration may enhance the beneficial effects on the joints.

Tildren® (Tiludronate)

As early as 2001, Ceva Santé Animale produced a molecule to treat the cause of bone-related lameness: injectable tiludronate (TILDREN® )

Irrespective of the age of the horse, the bone tissue of the skeleton is constantly being renewed. These continual changes to bone tissue are a normal process: they allow the skeleton to adapt to specific mechanical constraints, for example those related to the horse’s sport.

Sometimes bone renewal goes into overdrive. Because of the intense work by the horse or excessive mechanical stress on a bone or a joint, bone areas that are "working too hard" will be rearranged even more extensively. These excessive rearrangements of the bone tissue are to be found in a large number of locomotion disorders that horses suffer from, in particular in most degenerative bone and joint disorders. Additionally, it is precisely this bone rearrangement which causes the pain responsible for the lameness.
A large proportion of locomotion disorders in horses are thus caused by variations in bone structure, generally visible on X-rays.

Tiludronate demonstrates positive effects on mineralisation and increases bone density. TILDREN®  acts on the ongoing bone remodelling processes and is used to treat bone diseases such as spavin or navicular syndrome that generate very serious lameness in horses for competition and leisure.

For further information about TILDREN® , veterinarians can visit the dedicated website: www.tildren.com

From one country to another, product lines are adapted to local demand and regulatory requirements. For further information, please take a look at the Ceva Animal Health site for your country.Warning: the information provided on the products depends on national registrations. Access to technical information is restricted to authorised persons.

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