LAMENESS is an important cause of equine morbidity, and osteoarthritis is the single most common cause of lameness in the horse. Osteoarthritis and its management is therefore of considerable economic and welfare concern. This article reviews the medical treatments available for the management of this disease in the horse. These may be broadly divided into symptomatic agents (predominantly the NSAIDs) and disease-modifying agents (glycosaminoglycan compounds and, potentially, the corticosteroids). The disease-modifying agents may also have a major symptomatic effect. The nutraceuticals (oral glycosaminoglycans), a new type of compound, may also be disease modifying; however, critical evidence of their efficacy in vivo in the horse is currently lacking.
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