Question to Auz:
“My 20 yr old appaloosa is getting a little bit stiff and he certainly seems to be a bit more stiff in the heat. What do you recommend?” – Too Hot to Trot
Dear Too Hot to Trot,
There are a number of things to consider in a 20 year old horse with stiffness.
My first suggestion is to ask your AAEP accredited equine veterinarian to do a complete physical examination. Here’s why.
One of my neighbors is a 20 year old mare who has long term arthritis in her forefeet. Interestingly, she is more lame when the weather is warm than when it is cooler. So it makes me think there is something more here than meets the eye. Your veterinarian might want to examine for lameness or even laminitis which is an inflammation of the feet. A chronic case of laminitis can make a horse appear to be stiff rather than sore.
There are other problems which can make a horse appear to be stiff. Sometimes liver inflammation or muscle inflammation or even dehydration can cause stiffness. This is why it is so important to get your veterinarian to examine the horse and perhaps do some blood tests to eliminate many problems quickly.
Assuming there is nothing severely wrong with your horse the doctor might want to prescribe some of the newer anti-inflammatory prescription drugs such as Phycox and or cosequin or one of the many other medications which can help alleviate pain and soreness.
Proper nutrition can play a big role in animal health. We use Equivite® supplement every day to help us stay healthy and fit. You can buy it from your veterinarian, feed store or on line here.
I hope this is of some help to you. Thanks for asking, we love to help out.