How to Treat Arthritis in Large Animals?

Jun. 29, 2021

Arthritis is a non-specific term that indicates inflammation of the joints. All joint diseases in large animals have varying degrees of inflammatory components. Important arthritic entities include traumatic arthritis, stripped osteochondritis, subchondral cystic lesions, septic (or infectious) arthritis, and osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease). Next, the Analgin injection supplier will share the following content with you.


Traumatic arthritis

Traumatic arthritis includes traumatic synovitis and capsulitis, intra-articular chip fractures, ligament tears (sprains) involving periarticular and intra-articular ligaments, meniscal tears, and osteoarthritis. Traumatic arthritis is seen in all breeds of horses worldwide.


Clinical findings and diagnosis

Traumatic synovitis and arthritis are inflammatory conditions of the synovial membrane and fibrocartilage capsule associated with trauma. Typically, horses are athletes and present with synovial effusion in the acute phase and generalized thickening and fibrosis in the more chronic phase. Lameness varies from mild gait changes to severe lameness. Traumatic synovitis and capsulitis are distinguished from other traumatic entities by the use of radiography to exclude osteochondral fractures or disease. Torn ligaments or menisci (in the femoro-tibial joint) can usually only be ruled out by diagnostic arthroscopy. Osteochondral fractures can be diagnosed by radiographs.

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Osteoarthritis is a progressive loss of articular cartilage that may be the result of any or all of these traumatic entities (see also osteoarthritis below). Osteoarthritis is diagnosed by x-ray when the changes are severe enough to demonstrate loss of joint space (associated with loss of articular cartilage), subchondral sclerosis, and formation of bone fragments or attachment points. Milder degrees of osteoarthritis can only be determined by diagnostic arthroscopy. Osteochondral fractures have clinical symptoms similar to synovitis and capsulitis, as well as to osteoarthritis; the differential diagnosis of these entities is based on radiographs and, in some cases, on arthroscopy.


Arthritis usually results in joint pain and functional changes. If the process is active or acute, there is usually synovial fluid accumulation, swelling and warmth of the surrounding tissues. In more severe cases, manipulation of the joint can cause pain. In more subtle cases, flexion testing is required to cause claudication. As the disease process becomes chronic, the range of motion decreases as the fibers of the joint capsule thicken. Radiologic evaluation is necessary for positive confirmation of many disease entities. Arthroscopy is used to accurately assess the amount of damage to the articular cartilage and to determine prognosis.



Treatment of acute traumatic synovitis and arthritis of the joint capsule includes rest and physical therapy protocols such as cold water therapy, ice, passive flexion, and swimming. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (usually POTUS) are routinely used. In more severe cases, the joint is irrigated to remove inflammatory products produced by the synovium, as well as pieces of articular cartilage that exacerbate synovitis. Drainage of the joint alone, without lavage or injection of medication, provides only short-term relief.


Metamizole has analgetic and spasmolytic properties, and is used to treat pain associated with colic of all kind of origin (cattle, horses and pigs).

Further indications are serositis, arthritis, tendovaginitis, oesophagus obstruction (dogs) and affections associated with high fever and/or inflammation.