|Figure 1: Molecular structure of Adequan|
|Figure 2: Intra-articular Adequan|
Similar to Adequan , a relatively new supplement in the US is known as Pentosan. The active ingredient in Pentosan is Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium (PPS) and is distinct in molecular structure from Adequan (Figure 1 versus Figure 3) . In humans, PPS is used to treat bladder pain associated with cystitis. In addition, clinical research in humans suggests that PPS may reduce clinical signs associated with arthritis. In horses, clinical and empirical data indicates that regular administration of PPS-containing products reduces clinical signs associated with osteoarthritis. Pentosan is available in the United States as a generic product that is sold through compounding labs (Figure 4). In my practice, it is commonly administered as an intramuscular injection, initially as a loading dose (5 injections, 1 week apart) and then 1-2x per month.
|Figure 4: Generic Pentosan|
1: Once a horse is old enough to begin training, I recommend an "injectable" supplement to be administered monthly for the duration of that horse's career. Injectable supplements are likely to be superior to oral supplements.
2: Generally speaking intra-muscular injections are less expensive and can be done at the barn by the owner/barn manager. As such, I recommend starting with one of these supplements which include Adequan, Pentosan, and PentAussie.
3: Polyglycan is a great product and should be considered as an "in-addition-to" supplement to be used in horses that are in heavy competition or suffering from advanced osteo-arthritis.
4: The money you spend on a monthly basis for these "injectable" supplements is likely to be the best long term investment you can make for your horse besides having a good farrier and competent veterinarian!!