A new survey of horse owners¹ by supplement brand, Cavalor, has found that 66% of horses have suffered from lameness as a result of joint disease and one-fifth of horses have been off work with the problem for a year or more.

The company says it's not just older horses suffering from joint disease, 36% of horses developed the condition by the time they were eight years old.

In the survey, 69% of horses needed up to five visits to their veterinary surgeon for treatment, while 21% needed as many as ten visits. Horse owners spent an average of £2,104 treating their horse’s joint condition while 5% spent more than £7,500 on the problem.

In addition, 53% said they've missed up to ten competitions due to joint disease, with 17% missing more than 20 competitions.

The survey revealed that joint problems are an ongoing concern for many. 76% of owners said they worry about their horse developing osteoarthritis and 30% had retired a horse earlier than expected owing to joint disease. In addition, 84% admitted that they would not buy a horse if they knew it had joint problems.

In terms of joint care, 74% of respondents said they give their horse a joint supplement. 69% check their horse's legs daily and 90% implement post-competition leg care measures.

Cavalor’s Lieselot Hamerlinck said: "It is good to see that so many horse owners are using a joint supplement but it’s important that they understand what to look for when choosing which product to use. They should look for anti-inflammatory products, not just joint support and for clinical evidence on any product claims. It’s not just about giving a joint supplement every day, it’s more about giving the right product tailored to the horse’s individual needs.

"Also horse owners should be mindful that it is equally important, if not more so, to take proper care of their horse’s joints all year round, not just during competition."

For further information, visit www.cavalor.com.

Reference

  1. Survey of 1339 horse owners conducted online between August and September 2018.

Whilst you're here, take a moment to see our latest job opportunities for vets.