Poll Recap: Joint Injections

Of the 703 voters, 484 (69%) indicated they never have their horses' joints injected. The remaining voters said they've had their horses' joints injected at varying intervals.

Photo: The Horse Staff

In last week's online poll, TheHorse.com asked if you ever have your veterinarian inject your horse's joints. More than 700 readers responded and we've tallied the results.

Of the 703 voters, 484 (69%) indicated they never have their horses' joints injected. Another 97 respondents (14%) said their horses' joints are injected every few years, while 67 voters (10%) said their veterinarian injects their horses' joints annually. Fifty-five readers (8%) said their horses receive joint injections multiple times per year. Additionally, 78 respondents provided comments about their individual situations.

Some respondents use joint injections for a variety of reasons and at a variety of frequencies:

  • "Just twice, a few years apart, with excellent results."
  • "My older horse has developed upper ringbone and my vet recently injected the joint to try to help her."
  • "Find it very helpful for show horses who jump a lot."
  • "Once, at 24 years of age, in the coffin joint."
  • "We've done the funky knee of my old mare and her hocks once each, for comfort as she grew older."
  • "Annually for old mare with arthritis; hope to avoid w/new horse by careful training and use of Cosequin."
  • "We have only had to inject our horse's joints to help heal injuries. He is an accident prone horse."
  • "My horse gets joints injected as needed, as determined by our wonderful vet."
  • "My 29-year-old had her stifles injected several times to help with her arthritis/calcification."

Some readers explained why they haven't employed joint injections yet:

  • "So far my 25+-year-old has not had any issues that would need injectionsI am thankful."
  • "Not so far, but wouldn't rule it out."
  • "If the time comes that injections would benefit (my horse) I would do them."
  • "With proper hoof care I have never found a need for joint injections." 
  • "Never had a vet recommend a shot. Would (use them) if he did."

And others said these injections simply aren't for them or their horses:

  • "No joint problems that cold water and rest couldn't fix."
  • "We breed for strong healthy anatomy and properly work our horses to avoid damage."
  • "I wouldn't! Too risky and painful!"
  • "Therapeutic clogs have reduced the need for injections."
  • "We have always rested our horses when needed, have a great farrier, and we ride reiners."
  • "Some people consider this 'maintenance.' I strongly disagree."
  • "Compromising the integrity of the joint capsule seems like a risky idea."

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com every week!

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, News Editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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