A truly global approach to equine arthritis

Why does it take a team to keep a horse sound?

Degenerative joint disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis is one of the diseases most commonly encountered by equine practitioners. Results from the 2016 National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) revealed that more than 41% of lameness cases were caused by DJD. It is widely understood that early diagnosis and intervention is key, not only to prolonging the longevity of the affected animal, but more importantly, to provide immediate, effective pain relief. With this in mind, Equine Arthritis: Diagnostics and New Technology was conceived to bring together not only the treating veterinary surgeons, but also those front-line professionals most likely to have that vital first encounter with patient and owner.

In a mix of streamed veterinary and nonveterinary professionals presentations together with integrated sessions, the two-day programme will encourage an environment of collaborative learning focussing on key aspects of what we know about equine arthritis, where we are now in terms of diagnosis, treatment and management and, where we hope to be in the future.

Keynote speakers include Dr Jane Nixon, Director of Equine Development, British Equestrian Federation who, along with farrier Dean Dibsdall and nutritionist Emma Short will show in their presentation ‘Getting it right from day one’, that even with the best breeding and confirmation in the world careful management and production from birth to four year old is vital to success.

ACPAT physiotherapist Fiona Bloom stresses the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the arthritic horse. She takes an all-encompassing holistic look at the horse’s way of going, what it is expected to achieve in terms of work and performance and, how specific rider exercises can help achieve this.

World renowned equine osteopath Gavin Scofield discusses ‘Truly correct equine movement’. He looks at the scientific answer and its relevance to performance enhancement and, osteoarthritis prevention and management. He shows how this understanding can be taught and applied to help all aspects of the equine industry optimise equine posture and movement, aiding injury and osteoarthritis arthritis prevention and, performance enhancement.

Streamed wet-lab sessions allow for an on site distal limb dissection, which will demonstrate the internal structures of the limb and how arthritic changes and outside influences such as shoing and trimming impact the horse. The two days will be brought to a close with an afternoon of fully interactive panel sessions with representatives from across the equestrian professions. The first will be centered around ‘When the drugs don’t work’, looking at holistic options available to keep the patient sound for as long as possible. This is followed by a case study work up with a lameness location diagnostic session headed by Dr.Ing. Thilo Pfau of the RVC and a panel discussion on treatment options.

The event will enable therapists to gain a broad understanding of diagnosis, treatment and management and, how to work with the attending veterinary surgeon to achieve the best outcome and, to keep horses sound.