Equine Ringbone Problems
Ringbone is a common name for bony equine osteoarthritis of the pastern (high ringbone) and/or coffin joints (low ringbone). Ringbone is progressive and there is no cure. When the joints are stressed causing inflammation and pain, the body reacts by creating bone to try and strengthen the joint. This is the start of ringbone the growth of which increases as pain increases.
Correct treatment will slow the progression of ringbone and if your horse is not doing strenuous work, he/she should have a good quality of life for many years.
Ringbone is often referred to as degenerative joint disease (DJD) and most often found in mature horses,
Symptoms of Ringbone
• bony growth around the pastern area
• shortened stride
• heat and swelling around the joint
• reduced flexion and mobility in the pastern or coffin joint.
Causes of Ringbone
Abnormal stress on the joints due to any of the following.
• poor conformation,
• blunt trauma or lacerations to the joint
• imbalanced shoeing
• working on poor ground surfaces
• long toes and low heels
• unevenness side-to-side on the foot
Treatment of Ringbone - can include any of the following:
• diagnosis of ringbone by your vet via x-rays to detect ringbone spurs
• decreased workload
• attention to shoeing
• intravenous joint injections of hyaluronic acid such as Legend I.V or Adequan IM
• extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) – a high intensity specialised percussion device can help to remodel new bone tissue and decrease ringbone pain
• exercise management
• physical therapy
• oral daily joint supplements such as chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine or MSM
• Herbal supplements such as yucca and devil’s claw are known to help ringbone