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Coping with arthritic horses during lockdown restrictions *H&H Plus*

Movement is key to managing arthritis, so current restrictions call for out-of-the-box thinking, explains Dr Liz Barr MRCVS

After a winter of limited turnout as a result of relentless wet weather, which made fields resemble mud baths, many owners now find themselves with limited opportunity to exercise their horses due to the Covid-19 lockdown. This can cause real difficulty in managing any horse, but particularly one with underlying arthritis.

Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation and stiffness of the joints. Joints are made up of cartilage – the smooth material that forms the primary weight-bearing surface – and underlying bone. The synovial membrane lines the inside of the joint and produces synovial fluid, a thick substance that lubricates the joint during movement.