SOH-dee-uhm heye-ahl-UREN-eyt - Pronunciation guide
- Hylartin® V
Sodium hyaluronate is a compound found normally in connective tissues, the umbilical cord, synovial or joint fluids and in the vitreous humor or fluid filled part of the eye. It is also a major part of the capsule of the bacterial species Streptococcus. Because this compound is normally found in the horse's body, it should not create any immune reaction when a horse is treated with it.
Sodium hyaluronate helps to maintain joint health. It acts to inhibit inflammatory responses and improves the lubrication of the joint fluid. This is a prescription medication. Clinical trials indicated 90 percent or higher positive responses in horses treated with sodium hyaluronate, either intravenously or intraarticularly, for joint arthritis.
Sodium hyaluronate is used both intravenously (injection directly into a vein) and intraarticularly (injection directly into a joint space). Most products are approved for use in the fetlock and carpal (knee) joints, though they can be used in other joints off label. The goal in using sodium hyaluronate is to improve the health of the joint. It is useful for horses with some bony arthritis. Inflammatory responses will be minimized and the viscosity of the joint fluid improved.
This medication would not be helpful for a horse with an infectious cause of joint inflammation. It should also not be injected into a joint with an associated fracture. Stall rest for at least 48 hours is recomended post treatment.
Treatment may consist of one or repeated injections. No more than three injections total are recommended. Injections should be given at weekly intervals.
Dosage and Administration
(click row for calculator)
|Intravenous injection||40 mg||10 mg/ml||Weekly||3 weeks|
|Intra-articular injection||20 mg||10 mg/ml||Weekly||3 weeks|
While no side effects were noted during clinical trials, some reports of minor adverse reactions have come from use in the field. These include swelling at the joint injection site with associated lameness and pain. With intravenous usage, there have been reports of fever, lethargy and depression. Reactions were generally gone in 24 to 48 hours and considered to be minor.
Sterile technique must be maintained at all times when using this medication either intravenously or intraarticularly. Injections should not be made through skin that has recently been fired, has counterirritant present or has been blistered. Radiographs (x-rays) should be used to verify that there are no fractures associated with the joint before any injections are made.
The cartilaginous surfaces of the joint should not be scratched by the needle during injection. This can cause temporary swelling and pain.
This medication has not been tested for safety in mares or stallions used for breeding, pregnant mares or lactating mares.
Some preparations of sodium hylauronate are only approved for intravenous usage and should not be injected into joints.
There are no known contraindications for use of this compound with other medications. This medication should not be used in horses intended for human consumption.
Systemic toxicity has not been shown for this compound, however injection of large doses into small joint spaces could cause temporary swelling and pain.
About the author
Deb M. Eldredge, DVM is a Cornell graduate and horse lover from early childhood. She was active in 4-H and Pony Club, riding mostly huntseat but also Western. She has competed in various horse show venues as well as competitive trail rides and small three day events. At Cornell she was a member of the Women's Polo team.
Dr. Eldredge is a national award winning writer from both the Cat Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association of America. She lives in upstate NY on a small farm with 3 elderly horses, 1 miniature horse and 2 donkeys as well as various other animals.