My vet came out this morning to give Lilly her EE/WE and West Nile vaccines. Lilly was a good girl and I'm hoping we don't see any adverse reactions like we did with the Rabies. We'll do the Flu/Rhino shot sometime early next week and then we'll finally be done with vaccinations until the fall. I took Lilly out for an easy bareback ride after the vet left and will give her the day off tomorrow. Because of the weather, there won't be a show for me this weekend, which is probably just as well. Giving vaccines on the Friday before a show would be a bad idea anyway. So now we look ahead to the show on the 29th!
While my vet was there, I asked her again about injections for Lilly's apparent joint issues. I've given up completely on the Cosequin and even physically cut it out of my current SmartPaks. The new Paks came in today and they are void of Cosequin, but I still have 9 left and I can't take it anymore. Lilly didn't touch her breakfast this morning and it's driving me crazy. So no more joint supplements... I'm turning things up a notch.
I'm ignorant when it comes to joint injections. Whether those injections are given IM (intramuscular), IV (intravenous), or IA (intra-articular), I'm clueless. AJ is the only horse of mine who has ever received injections for joint related issues and I can't remember what exactly we did for him. I think I was about 12 or 13 at the time, so the memories are a bit fuzzy. Whatever we did wasn't effective for him because we still ended up retiring him at 6, but I'm sure Adequan has come a long way since 1993.
I know a lot of people who use Adequan and have great success with it. They give the 1/4/7 dosage (one shot, every four days, until the 7 vials are gone) and then typically give their horses maintenance shots every month after that forever and ever. In my mind, that's what I'd probably do with Lilly. I know people who have skipped the loading dose or only used one shot every week for four weeks (or some variation thereof, probably recommended by their vet), but Adequan has been proven to be most effective with the 1/4/7 schedule.
When I was speaking to my vet today, however, she said anything other than 1/4/7 is considered "off label" and she wouldn't recommend it. She suggested we do the 1/4/7 for Lilly and then supplement it with Legend if she needs some kind of "booster" or if we had a month coming up with heavy work/showing. No accompanying joint supplements were recommended either.
So I was stumped because nearly everyone I know has started with the 1/4/7 and then gives another shot every month. They say it works miracles and they can tell when their horse needs his/her monthly shot... and here is my vet telling me that she doesn't recommend it simply because it's off label. I mentioned those things to her and she repeated that it really is off label and she wouldn't recommend it.
So I told her I would discuss it with her some more when she comes out again to give the Flu/Rhino and go from there. I wanted some time to research before I commit to the $300 I'm ultimately going to spend on these injections.
I spoke with my friend about what the vet said and she said I should get a new vet. She gives her horse Adequan shots every month and thinks it's crazy that the vet would say the monthly maintenance shot is off label because that's what everyone does. So I started doing some research and as it turns out, my vet is correct.
The 1/4/7 isn't a loading dose, it IS the dose. Anything beyond the 1/4/7 is considered off label because they have not tested the effectiveness of the monthly "maintenance" doses everyone gives their horses after the "loading" dose. They actually recommend repeating the 1/4/7 every 6 months as needed. So there are a lot of people out there using this product off label...
Polyglycan was suggested to me by a friend and I've heard my vet mention it as well, but using Polyglycan for joint supplements would be WAY off label since it's actually a surgical lavage drug. So if we're trying to stay on label here, Polyglycan is out.
So I guess unless my vet and I determine otherwise next week, my plan will be to give the seven Adequan shots and go from there. Hopefully it'll be just what she needs and she'll be good to go for a whole year... I don't mind giving the Adequan every year if that's what works best for her. If we're not seeing any results from the Adequan, though, I'll have to regroup.
Also, just want to make sure everyone knows I'm not doing the actual joint injections, just the Adequan IM. Joint injections are definitely not even on my radar.