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          How does the Seaver girth help limit osteoarthritis in your horse?

          Wednesday, July 3, 2019

          L’osteoarthritis is a common disease in sport horses, in most cases due to overtraining or a bad diet. Seaver allows you to monitoring health status of your horse in order to limit the occurrence of arthritis.

          1. What is osteoarthritis?

          In a joint, the cartilage serves shock-absorberIt avoids friction between the two bones and absorbs shocks during movement. Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes a cartilage degeneration. The joint space will shrink and synovial fluid (fluid that reduces friction in the joint) will leak out. The joint will be less lubricated and will come to a standstill. Osteoarthritis can be accompanied by a ossification of the joints (excess bone due to calcification).

          The two bones have difficulty articulating in relation to each other. This will create a inflammation at the joint and will result in pains.

          The symptoms of osteoarthritis are often:
          • From cold limpespecially in trotting, which seems to improve in the heat of the work. This lameness may be more pronounced on hard ground than on soft ground.
          • The presence of stiffnesses when handling a limb 

          It is a common disease among old horses or having a sustained physical activity.

          Common sites of osteoarthritis in horses

          The areas most sensitive are the limb joints (hock, patella, ball, knee, ...) and the back (especially the thoracolumbar junction).

          It's a irreversible disease but whose progress can be slowed down.                                                 

          2. the causes of osteoarthritis in the horse

          The causes of osteoarthritis are diverse, sometimes involving the horse worksound, its physics or some external personnel.

          2.1. Work-related causes

          If the rider asks his horse to exert physical effort too frequentlythe horse's musculature will work excessively. The joint will compensate for the work not performed by the muscles. But this is not the joint's role, and this is why it can lead to osteoarthritis. A limping or muscular compensation due to injury, for example, can, for the same reasons, cause osteoarthritis, so we must try to limit its occurrence.

          ⚠ Particular care should be taken when taking taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

          These medicines will mask the pain but this does not mean that the area in question is completely healed. You must therefore be careful to resume work gradually. 

          Inflammation of a joint due to a spraina dislocation The inflammation of a joint due to an injury, sprain or other injury can also lead to osteoarthritis if it is too consecutive. When a joint is inflamed, the synovial membrane will thicken and compress the joint. This leads to the destruction of the cartilage and in the long term can lead to osteoarthritis.

          The longer the inflammation lasts, the more likely the horse is to develop arthritis.

          Diagram of cartilage deterioration due to joint inflammation

          When the horse is in motion, it compensates for the hardness or the soil softness with the help of his knuckles. Working on too hard or too soft a soil will cause a over-solicitation joints that can lead to osteoarthritis.

          In contrast to overworka lack of movement can lead to osteoarthritis. In the absence of stimulation, the bone gradually loses all organization and strength. A small shock is perceived as a big blow to the joint.

          2.2. Causes related to the physiognomy of the horse

          Some physiognomic causes of osteoarthritis are genetics. In the case ofprimary osteoarthritishorses have their cartilage weaker than the average. These horses may have osteoarthritis, despite moderate physical activity and very good maintenance.

          Osteochondrosis is a genetic disease that develops in foals. This disease is one of the causes of osteoarthritis. It causes the foal's bones to grow significantly, resulting in osteoarthritis. These can crumble and become lodged in the joint, causing inflammation of the joint.

          A horse with bad legs A horse with poor legs will have arthritis more easily than a horse with very good legs, so more care must be taken to limit its development.

          The pressure exerted on the joint is poorly distributed.

          The cartilage will wear out more quickly in the area of the joint where the pressure is greatest and osteoarthritis will occur.

          A overweight can lead to severe muscle fatigue and therefore osteoarthritis. This disease can also be caused by a poor foot care. For example, a foot that is too high or too long alters the interphalangeal axis. A asymmetrical trimming (higher heel on one side), causes joint compression on one side and can also lead to osteoarthritis in horses.

          2.3. Causes linked to external agents

          Certain medications can cause inflammation in the joints and lead to osteoarthritis. A infiltration done to your horse can relieve (or limit) osteoarthritis but can also make it worse. A joint is a sterile place, so great care must be taken when implanting the syringe. It must be perfectly sterile. The slightest bacterium in contact with the joint could cause it to become inflamed.

          Some hormones regulate the body's mineral balance but can cause excessive bone growth or bone destruction.

          3. How can osteoarthritis be relieved?

          3.1. The veterinarian

          The veterinarian is usually the one who will diagnose osteoarthritis with a radiography which is usually accompanied by a ultrasound if necessary. The role of the veterinarian will be to alleviate pain.

          There are several possible treatments for this. The horse can be put on anti-inflammatory drugs. In most cases, the diagnosis of osteoarthritis is accompanied by an corticosteroid infiltration. The infiltration allows an immediate reduction of pain, which is rather positive. However, during the infiltration, the puncture in the joint will damage it. This requires a great deal of attention. There must be no bacteria entering the joint. This technique degrades the jointyou have to be careful not to infiltrate the same place too many times. The veterinarian can also prescribe feed supplements in order to reduce pain in the joint.

          3.2. The osteopath

          The osteopath will alleviate compensation (muscular, myofascial, limping...) due to osteoarthritis. However, the osteopath will not act on the joint but on the adjacent muscles. These are conservation and/or preventive care for the animal. 

          3.3. The Marshal

          The marshal's coming. straighten out of the horse thanks to at around and in irons. Before the horse gets osteoarthritis, he'll make sure the foot symmetry of the horse. Once the horse has osteoarthritis, the marshal's role will be to relieving osteoarthritis by modifying the hardware.  

          4. How does Seaver help you prevent and detect osteoarthritis in horses?

          4.1. How can it be avoided?

          It is possible to track the number of calories burned by your horse in real time with the Seaver strap. This feature allows you toadjust the power supply of your horse according to its activity and to theavoid possible overweight (possible cause of osteoarthritis). For more details, you can read the article: " How to feed your horse well? Our advice to manage your horse in the box " in the blog of our site.

          It is also possible to monitor your horse's heart rate with the Seaver strap. heart rate of your horse. A graph showing the heart rate over time and the average heart rate is displayed on the "cardio" page of your training. This feature allows you to check your horse's heart rate during training and to monitor your horse's performance. checking that you are not overtraining This feature allows you to check your horse's heart rate during training and to check your horse's heart rate too often. By monitoring work intensity You can avoid putting too much strain on your horse (a possible cause of osteoarthritis, which we want to limit). For more information, you can read our article

          "Understanding the Seaver heart rate feature

          on our blog.

          During an obstacle session, you can also monitor the number of jumps and also the energy absorbed at reception. Repeated jumping efforts are a possible cause of osteoarthritis. For a classic session, it is advisable not to exceed approximately 50 jumps and a total landing shock of 70kJ. For more information, you can read the article " Using Seaver jumping indicators in your jumping work " on our blog.

          4.2 How to detect it?

          Seaver allows you to have a precise vision of the movement of your horse thanks to the detection of the straight trot symmetry and the jump shift.

          However, this feature will not be able to tell you exactly that it is osteoarthritis and you will have to call a veterinarian anyway to be sure. The Seaver Strap can still alert you.

          A horse with arthritis will tend to be

          asymmetric at trot and on the push of a jump.

          As can be seen on this horse with the diseaseosteoarthritis of the left hockthere are more jumps where there is a left shift. There is also an asymmetry between the right and left diagonal. More than the value of the symmetry, it is its systematic decrease that should alert you. Similarly for the jump offset, it is normal to sometimes observe a shift. But it is when it becomes recurrent that you should ask yourself the question.

          ⚠ Just because you have these results doesn't mean your horse has osteoarthritis. There are many other factors that can cause the horse to be out of kilter. It is necessary to seek the advice of a veterinarian.

          See you soon for a new article,

          The Seaver team 😉