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Pentosan: The Equine Joint Supplement Top Trainers Rely On

Updated: Aug 7

Joint health is crucial for performance horses that experience intense training and competition. Pentosan is an injectable joint supplement that can help support joint health and prevent injuries in high-motion joints like the hocks, fetlocks, and knees. This article provides an overview of how pentosan works and how it benefits hard-working performance horses.

What is Pentosan and How Does It Work?

Pentosan is the brand name for pentosan polysulfate sodium, a semi-synthetic medication derived from beechwood hemicellulose. It helps support cartilage matrix synthesis, making it an ideal joint supplement for performance horses.

Pentosan works by inhibiting certain enzymes that break down cartilage in joints while also stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid and important cartilage components like collagen and proteoglycans. This helps lubricate joints and prevents cartilage deterioration.

Benefits of Pentosan Injections for Performance Horses:

  • Supports cartilage lubrication and synthesis

  • Reduces inflammation and joint pain

  • Prevents cartilage breakdown and joint injuries

  • Allows peak athletic performance and less downtime

  • Safe for long-term use with minimal side effects

Administering Pentosan to Horses:

Pentosan is administered via intra-articular injections, often directly into high motion joints prone to injuries like the hock, fetlock, and knee. Joint injections allow pentosan to go directly to the source and are especially helpful for horses with pre-existing arthritis. Many vets recommend injecting both hock joints then repeating every 3-6 months for maintenance. Always follow your veterinarian’s dosage recommendations.


Pentosan can greatly benefit performance horses by supporting joint health and preventing injuries. By maintaining proper cartilage lubrication and synthesis, pentosan helps horses train and compete at their very best. Consult your vet to see if adding periodic pentosan injections could optimize your performance horse’s joint health.

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