Bone Spurs

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Bone Spurs

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:19 pm

Dear Dr. Pike:



My 21 year old gelding has been a little lame for about 6 months. I took him to the vet to check out the limp. X-rays showed the beginning of high ringbone in both legs, and a small spur beginning in the bottom joint on one. Right now it's only a slight limp, but I know the growth of the bone spurs will eventually make him much more lame until they fuse together. Are there any supplements that could help?
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Re: Bone Spurs

Post by Dr. Daniel Pike on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:28 pm

Unfortunately, the problem of ringbone may become a complicated issue. I think the first thing we need ot address is to determine if the pain is "articular" or "non-articular." For articular problems, systemic supplements such as Adequan and Legend may be beneficial. Your primary veterinarian will be able to help you with which is most appropriate for the given condition. As far as oral supplements go, there is little evidence to support that they provide consistent benefit. Historically, Cosequin has been one of the few that was shown to provide some benefit in substantial study. The newer supplements containing Hyaluronic Acid (Lubrisyn, Hyaluronex, etc) are showing some promise as well, but most of that data is anectdotal. The good news is that any of these supplements have very few harmful side effects, so it may be worthwhile to do a trial run with these products. I would give these products at least 45 days to see if you have seen any benefit.

If it is determined that the source of pain is "non-articular," or not related to a joint and related structures, then these supplements will probably have little effect. However, there are other types of medications that may help alleviate the painn. I have had some success with the topical NSAID "Surpass" in alleviating pain associated in SOME ringbone cases. This would be a good place to start. More aggressive therapies may be available depending on the radiographic findings. I hope this helps and good luck!

-Daniel R Pike DVM
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