As osteoarthritis can only be managed, prognosis is largely dependent on response to therapies and the speed of disease progression. The earlier the changes are identified, the easier it is to slow down the arthritic process. Many horses that are in the early stage of disease are able to be ridden regularly and compete in their chosen discipline. Horses in the latter stages of disease may not be as responsive to medications and may only be used for light riding or as a companion animal.
Osteoarthritis is a very common cause of lameness in the horse. If your horse develops lameness or has reduced athletic performance, it is important to consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner osteoarthritis is diagnosed and managed, the greater the chance for a successful management program.
Provided by Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital (www.roodandriddle.com)