Risk Of Joint Infections Low In Horses After Injection

by | 02.21.2019 | 9:04am

Keeping joints healthy often requires a proactive approach: routine exercise, weight management, minimization of trauma, and regular use of oral joint health supplements such as glucosamine hydrochloride, hyaluronic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and chondroitin sulfate.

Kentucky Equine Research offers several high-quality joint supplements that can be given to young, sound horses prior to the onset of osteoarthritis to help sustain lifelong joint health,” explained Laura Petroski-Rose, B.V.M.S, a veterinarian for the company.

Many performance horses have soundness problems at some point in their lives. In some cases, veterinarians recommend joint injections with products such as corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans.

Although performed commonly, there is always a risk of infection following a joint injection, a consideration for even the most seasoned horse owners. Infection rates are far lower than believed, 0.04%, according to a group of Australian veterinarians.

In a recent study conducted to improve the industry's understanding of joint infections after injection*, Smith and colleagues collected data from 9,456 joint injections. They found:

  • The most frequently used medications during those procedures were corticosteroids, hyaluronate, polysulfated glycosaminoglycans, the antibiotic amikacin sulfate, or combinations thereof;
  • Of the four horses that developed infections, two received polysulfated glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronate, and two were administered triamcinolone acetonide and hyaluronate;
  • One of those had also received amikacin sulfate;

All four of these horses were successfully treated and returned to racing following joint lavage.

*Smith, L.C.R., C.E. Wylie, L. Palmer, et al. Synovial sepsis is rare following intrasynovial medication in equine ambulatory practice. Equine Veterinary Journal. In press.

Article reprinted courtesy of Kentucky Equine Research (KER). Visit equinews.com for the latest in equine nutrition and management, and subscribe to The Weekly Feed to receive these articles directly (equinews.com/newsletters).  

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