2018 AGDF Program - 1
Don't Let Degenerative Joint
Disease Bring Your Horse to a Halt
Editorial by: Marian G. Little, DVM, Technical Services Veterinarian, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
n the equine athlete, overuse is a significant cause of
a variety of lameness problems. Over time, the wear
and tear of daily use or "use trauma," exerts abnormal
forces on a horse's joints and disrupts the natural
cycle of "wear and repair." Once the natural balance of a
joint is disrupted, the joint is susceptible to non-infectious
degenerative joint disease (DJD). Equine DJD (also
commonly referred to as osteoarthritis, or OA) is specifically
defined as "a group of disorders characterized by a common
end-stage in which progressive deterioration of the articular
cartilage is accompanied by changes in bone and soft tissues
of the joint."1
In horses with DJD, changes occur within the joint that
cause lameness which may become noticeable by an owner,
rider, trainer, or veterinarian. A comprehensive veterinary
physical and lameness exam is always recommended for
an appropriate diagnosis of any cause of lameness. If a
diagnosis of DJD is confirmed, your veterinarian may
choose to treat your horse with one or more of four
therapeutic categories of FDA approved products: PSGAG,
Sodium Hyaluronate/HA, Corticosteroids, and NSAIDs.
FDA approved products within these categories of
treatment are routinely used in the management of lameness
associated with degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis.
(Note: FDA approved products are those products that are
rigorously tested for safety and efficacy through required
Therapeutic Categories for DJD
Many other products marketed and sold are not supported
by sound scientific research or manufactured under strict
FDA guidelines. Please consult your veterinarian
for further information on treatment of lameness
associated with DJD, and ask which products may be
most appropriate for your horse.
Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is
recommended for the intramuscular treatment of noninfectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction
and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
There are no known contraindications to the use of
intramuscular Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan. Studies have
not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses.
WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human
consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all
medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal
law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed
Please see Full Prescribing Information at
To report an adverse event please contact Luitpold Animal
Health at (800)734-9236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can
also contact the Center for Veterinary
Medicine at (888) FDA-VETS.
PSGAG: Adequan® i.m. (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan). The ONLY
FDA approved equine PSGAG for the intramuscular treatment of noninfectious degenerative joint disease of the carpal and hock joints proven to:
- DIMINISH the destructive processes of degenerative joint disease
- REVERSE the processes which result in the loss of cartilage components
- IMPROVE overall joint function and associated lameness
Sodium hyaluronate or Hyaluronic Acid (HA) products
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
1. McIlwraith CW. Traumatic Arthritis and
Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis in the Horse. In:
Joint Disease in the Horse. Frisbee DD, Kawcak CE,
McIlwraith CW, van Weeren PR, ed. 2nd ed. St.
Louis, MO: Elsevier, 2016:33.
Adequan® and the Horse Head design are registered
trademarks of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
© Luitpold Animal Health, division of Luitpold
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2017. PP-AI-US-0040 5/2017