Of the 9.2 million horses in the United States, 38% have health issues, 33% are lame and 60% of these lame horses have osteoarthritis (Beyond Osteoarthritis, 2019).
Osteoarthritis (OA) can affect any horse at any age, and 60% of all equine lameness is related to OA (USDA 2000, Caron 2003). OA is often associated with poor performance, early retirement, and a significant financial burden for owners of affected athletes (McIlwraith 2012). The disease is an active response to joint injury resulting from abnormal remodeling of joint tissues driven by a host of inflammatory mediators within the affected joint (Loeser 2012). The extracellular matrix of articular cartilage is composed of proteins and glycoproteins, principally collagen, and several others (Fox 2009, Roughley 2001). The progression of OA is driven, at least in part, by upregulation of cartilage matrix degrading proteases, pro-inflammatory cytokines and genes that modulate inflammatory or catabolic processes within the joint (Loeser 2012). The result is loss of articular cartilage caused by extracellular matrix breakdown— the hallmark of arthritis (Liu 2009).
Understanding the research done on α2M, Astaria Global developed the AlphaActiveTM process. The AlphaActive process isolates the α2M molecule, which is a powerful inhibitor of cartilage catabolic factors and slows the progression of osteoarthritis by preventing cartilage breakdown and loss. AlphaActive is a highly improved process leveraging PRP methodology derivative of Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP) that concentrates plasma proteins from the equine patient’s own blood. It is the only autologous process to concentrate α2M for mammals to obtain a U.S. patent. Alpha2EQ is powered by the advanced, patented AlphaActive Concentrate Process and is the only orthobiologic device that is proven to isolate and concentrate α2M from plasma, intensifying the all-natural healing proteins of the horse’s own blood.
Sometimes considered the most talented in the equestrian sport due to the high level of discipline they require. The goal of the sport is to develop and showcase the horse’s natural athletic ability as well as improved gymnastic development. The most common cause of injuries in the dressage horse include inflammation of the suspensory ligament, degenerative joint disease in the hock and inflammation of the middle knee joint (Dyson, 2019).
Cross Country Equine
Participate in a more endurance-based event to prove their speed, endurance and jumping ability. The events are like that of a jumper/hunter equine but much longer and can include jumping over water, trees, logs, ditches and banks. Common injuries include rhabdomyolysis, stifle fracture and tendon or ligament injuries (Dyson, 2019).
Commonly seen at horse shows, including the Olympics, and usually perform outdoors on a grass or dirt-covered area. All the constant jumping that this type of equine performs stresses the tendons and ligaments of the legs. The impact of landing can also damage structures in the front feet (Dyson, 2019).
Work together with their rider to demonstrate the horse’s athleticism and ability to handle cattle in a performance called a “run”. Competitive cutting horses are well-trained and conditioned to stop and turn instantly, in sync with the cattle. Tarsitis or hock inflammation is common among these competitors as well as lower orthopedic and back. This is due to the constant repetitive trauma and sharp turning motions (Western Performance Horse Injuries and Problems, 2004).
Caron JP and Genovese RL. Principles and practices of joint disease treatment. In: Ross MW and Dyson SJ, eds. Diagnosis and management of lameness in the horse. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2003:746–764.
Beyond Osteoarthritis: ‘Other’ Causes of Joint Disease. (2019, October 30). Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://thehorse.com/154331/beyond-osteoarthritis-other-causes-of-joint-disease/.
Dyson, S. (2016). Lameness and Performance in the Sport Horse: Dressage: AAEP. Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://aaep.org/horsehealth/lameness-and-performance-sport-horse-dressage.
Dyson, S. (2016). Lameness and Performance in the Sport Horse: Eventing: AAEP. Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://aaep.org/horsehealth/lameness-and-performance-sport-horse-eventing.
Dyson, S. (2016). Lameness and Performance in the Sport Horse: Show Jumping: AAEP. Retrieved November 7, 2019, from https://aaep.org/horsehealth/lameness-and-performance-sport-horse-show-jumping.
Fox AJS, Bedi A and Rodeo SA. The basic science of articular cartilage: structure, composition, and function. Sports Health. 2009;1(6):461-468.
Liu C-J. The role of ADAMTS-7 and ADAMTS-12 in the pathogenesis of arthritis. Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2009;5(1):38-45.
Loeser RF, Goldring SR, Scanzello CR, et al. Osteoarthritis: a disease of the joint as an organ. Arthritis Rheumatism. 2012;64(6):1697-1707.
McIlwraith CW, Frisbie DD, Kawcak CE. The horse as a model of naturally occurring osteoarthritis. Bone Joint Res. 2012;1(11):297-309.
Rehman A, Ahsan H, Khan F. Alpha2-Macroglobulin: a physiological guardian. J Cell Physiol 2013;228:1665-1675.
United States Department of Agriculture. Lameness and laminitis in U.S. Horses. National Animal Health Monitoring System, 2000. Available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/equine/downloads/equine98/Equine98_dr_Lameness.pdf. [Access date: July 10, 2020.]
Western Performance Horse Injuries and Problems. (2004, March 11). Retrieved from https://thehorse.com/152104/western-performance-horse-injuries-and-problems/.