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Ask Dr. Dave

Tiffaney from Nebraska, writes:

Dear Dr. Dave,

I have a seven year-old barrel horse and she has high ringbone.
I was wondering if there was any way to help her swelling. Will the Surpass product help make her feel better?

Dear Tiffaney,

Thank you for your question. High ringbone is defined as osteo-arthritis of the pastern joint. This means that there is some destruction of the articular cartilage within the joint and subsequent boney growth around the joint attempting to stabilize the joint. If you have soft tissue swelling around the joint that would indicate that the boney growth is irritating the tendons and ligaments in that area.

Yes, many horse owners have found that Surpass seems to help with the swelling and pain associated with this condition. However, it does not address the real issue which is the joint itself.

Shoeing the horse with rocker-toed shoes may help her break over faster and put less stress on the joint. Please be very objective when considering her lower limb conformation as it is unusual for a horse of this age to have high ringbone. The likelihood she will be able to progress to a high level of barrel racing competition is doubtful, however she may do well at less strenuous activities.

Best of luck with your mare.

Dr. Dave