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Supplement Time Limit?

Just read a blog from early September regarding a suspensory ligament injury, as my mare is going through the same thing. We did stall rest with slowly increasing hand walking, icing, wrapping, anti-inflammatories, & Q 6 wk ultrasounds. I put her on SmartTendon, but now just switched her to SmartFlex Rehab as it contains more of the important joint ingredients. My question is: Is there a time limit recommended for a horse to be on this particular supplement? And what supplement is recommended to follow this one for later to possibly help prevent further issues? Thanks! – SF, Minnesota

Dear SF,

First of all, thanks for reading the blog! Sorry to hear that your mare suffered a soft tissue injury, but it sounds like you have things under control and are headed in the right direction. I agree with you that SmartFlex Rehab Pellets might be the better supplement choice right now because it not only contains the building blocks of connective tissue (silica and collagen) that SmartTendon does but also additional antioxidants like Ginger, Quercetin, Curcumin, Super Oxide Dismutase, and bioflavonoids; more natural inflammation-fighters like Yucca, Devil’s Claw, Boswellia, Bromelain, Willow Bark, and DHA and EPA from fish oil; and, like you mention, the joint ingredients Glucosamine, Chondroitin sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid. In addition, we made sure there was plenty of protein support so horses on stall rest didn’t lose their muscle mass and topline. That’s why there’s a little more of the amino acid Lysine plus Methionine and Threonine in there. Another amino acid, Glutamine, is used by the body wherever healing is taking place, so it’s a nice addition too, as is the Marshmallow Root to support a healthy environment in the stomach.

So to answer your first question, SmartFlex Rehab can be given as long as needed. That is, there is nothing in the supplement that is only recommended for short-term use so feel free to keep your mare on it three months or six months or however long her suspensory takes to heal.

As far as question number two, that depends on what you do with your mare. My suggestion is to keep her on a supplement with joint and soft tissue support for the rest of her performance career. If you don’t plan to compete in rated shows, she could stay on SmartFlex Rehab and benefit from the wide selection of ingredients it provides. However, if you plan to compete at USEF or other rated shows, then you may want to transition to a supplement that provides support for joints and connective tissue that doesn’t include any forbidden substances like Devil’s Claw. Something like SmartFlex III Resilience might be a good choice. Keep up the good work and stay patient as your mare heals!

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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Posted in Ask the Vet, Lameness

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One comment on “Supplement Time Limit?
  1. Janna Pfautz says:

    Our Appaloosa show gelding, Hot Chocolate Lover aka “Kramer” had surgery in May 2011 for a medial ligament injury. He had a plantar fasciotomy at Oakridge Equine in Edmond OK. Discharge orders were for stall rest, post surgery 30 days; then 10 minutes of walking time, gradual increasing until light riding at 4+ months. During this time we used a product from Smart Pak called Rest Easy Gold. Helped keep the edge off. We also changed his SmartPak to include the SmartFlx Rehab. At 6 months, post op, he is back to light work and doing extremely well. The support and help we received from SmartPak and their products were key in his recovery. I will continue the Smart Flex products for the rest of his life, with SmartPak’s guidance. Thanks again on a job very well done! Janna Pfautz, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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