Arthritis often develops following interference with normal structure and function. Damage to the cartilage and/or the bone through trauma (injury) or infection results in roughening of the smooth surfaces. Clinical signs of degenerative joint disease include lameness, joint swelling, and muscle atrophy (wasting) among others.
Some horses with arthritis respond simply to rest for a period of weeks to months. In most cases this will mean that the horse is confined to a stable. Do not be tempted to turn the horse out during this time. Even though you are not riding him, he could still gallop or leap about and cause more damage to the inflamed structures.
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