HAPPA FACTS: Degenerative Joint Disease
‘Degenerative Joint disease’ can also be described as a form of ‘Osteoarthritis’.
The joints of a horse are composed of a number of types of tissues these include; bone, articular cartilage and the surrounding soft tissues. These all play a part in normal joint function, the joint cartilage is made up of a precise arrangement of collagens and cartilaginous joint surfaces, and these should glide almost frictionless over one another. In Osteoarthritis, or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), this cartilage structure is damaged. This damage with time, if not treated, is a common cause of lameness in equines
Case study HAPPA Coco
HAPPA Cawthorne, stable name ‘Coco’, is a 17.2hh, 14 year old, Irish Draught X, Bay Gelding. Coco has degenerative joint disease (Osteoarthritis) in his coffin joint.
A large proportion of caring for a horse with DJD is routine management. If you can get this right then then there will be a reduced need to use pain relief and or feed additives to keep your horse comfortable. You will also need to insure that the work load of an equine diagnosed with DJD is adjusted to an amount that keeps the horse or pony mobile but does not put extra strain on any joints already affected.
Always remember to consult a veterinarian for a definite diagnosis and to discuss treatment plans.
Equine Care Officer Rachel Jackson
‘’We manage HAPPA Cawthorne’s Degenerative Joint Disease by light hacking and regular turnout. Keeping Coco moving stops him from becoming stiff and swollen in his legs and ensures that he still has a good quality of life. We also use a massage pad daily to relax tight muscles and reduce swelling. We bandage Coco’s legs at night to keep them warm which increases circulation and stops any swelling. He also has a supplement in his feed which aids joint mobility. This helps Coco to live a happy and comfortable life.’’
How could you help HAPPA Help ‘Coco’
A great way to aid circulation and in turn manage Degenerative Joint Disease in equines is by using a form of magnetic therapy; this can come in the form of a rug or as boots. Due to Coco’s size the rehabilitation equipment we already have on site does not fit him. We would like to appeal to all our supporters to donate towards purchasing the following…
HAPPA will have to pay the extra cost for larger sizes to be made. Coco’s rug size is 7ft and his boots will need to be XLarge.
You can donate to HAPPA by sending the text HAPP37 and the amount you wish to donate to 70070. e.g HAPP37 £5 or by visiting the centre.