Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Joint Injection, Sodium Hyaluronate



Sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) is naturally found in the normal joint. It plays a critical role as an anti-inflammatory and assists with joint function. In inflamed joints, this molecule is depleted. Injection of this compound is thought to create an anti-inflammatory effect, supporting joint health and comfort and slowing the degradation of the joint.

Results may appear after one treatment, but your vet may prescribe additional treatments spaced a week apart. This treatment is often combined with steroids for a stronger anti-inflammatory effect. Proper injection technique is required to minimize the risk of infecting the joint.

Look for reduced lameness and reduced swelling, increased range of motion and less response to both standing flexion and less lame after flexion of the limb. Your vet can help you evaluate the efficacy of this treatment.

This Treatment Might be used for a horse exhibiting these signsRelated Observations

Consider Potential Side Effects & Complications

As with any compound injected into a joint, there is a small risk of joint infection. Rarely, a horse will have an "allergic" reaction to this compound.

Consider Reasons Not To Use This Treatment

Not used as a preventative measure, where there is no discernible problem with the joint.

Is It working? Timeframe for effect

Hours to days. May reduce pain and improve function over months.

Questions To Ask My Vet

  • How long should I wait before I can work my horse after this treatment?

Helpful Outside ResourcesCredible Equine Health Information on the Internet

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. Hyvisc® (hyaluronate sodium)
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. Hyalovet® (hyaluronate sodium)
Merial Legend®
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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