Proper Dosages For Joint Supplements

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Joint nutraceuticals can vary widely in the amount of active ingredient they provide per recommended dose. Sometimes, we believe, recommended doses may be listed at the lowest possible effective levels in an attempt to reduce the daily cost of the supplement. They also may not take into account your horse’s weight, especially if you have a big warmblood or draft cross.

We recommend you read all product labels closely. If the amounts aren’t provided per dose in milligrams, do the math to figure out what you really need to be feeding. The daily dosages we list in our charg below are per 500 to 550 lbs. of body weight and are those we found to be the most effective in our field trials. Adjust up or down according to your horse’s or pony’s weight. If your horse weighs 1,000 pounds (get out the weight-measuring tape), you’ll need to double our recommendations.

Remember, too, that horses in regular work that involves heavy joint stress — such as upper-level dressage, eventing, endurance, combined driving, jumping, roping, reining or cutting — may need to be maintained on the full/loading dose for best effect.

Older, retired horses that are in no work/complete turnout may respond to lower doses than younger, active ones. However, older horses that are worked may require the highest doses. What’s considered light work for a young horse can actually be stressful for older horses, both in terms of fatigue and how much arthritic joints can take without worsening. This comment isn’t to discourage working older horses, of course. Exercise is extremely beneficial to them. You just need to understand their limits and increased needs.

Most effective combination products are those that contain a full, recommended dosage of at least one ingredient, which is usually glucosamine. (See December 2003 for more information.)

Also With This Article
Click here to view ”Horse Journal Dosage Recommendations.”