Joint Ill and how to treat it - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Joint ill (also known as septic or infective arthritis) is a term for infection of the joint. It usually occurs in foals less than one month old, although it may occur in horses of any age...


Joint Ill begins when bacteria enter the bloodstream and invades the bone or synovial membranes of the joint.

The disease is characterized by severe lameness with heat, swelling and pain. Joint Ill needs to be treated quickly to minimise further damage to the joint. it can also be fatal if not treated. 

Symptoms of joint ill:

  • Fever
  • Heat in the area
  • Swelling
  • Lameness
  • Lethargy or 'sleepiness'
  • Swollen and painful navel and not drying up
  • Loss of appetite

It is important to identify and treat Joint Ill as early and as quickly as possible, for the best outcome. A foal should be up and about three to six hours after birth. This is why it important to monitor expectant mares. 

If the foal is showing any symptoms or failing to thrive the vet may conduct blood work, a fecal exam, x-ray and potentially a biopsy of the joint itself. A course of strong antibiotics might be prescribed by your vet. 

McDowells recommendation

The McDowells Joint Ill mix includes Burdock, Echinacea, Elecampane, Ethanol, Equisetum, Garlic, Hawthorn, Red Clover, Rosehips, Dr Bachâ„¢ Flowers; Crab Apple, Walnut. This mix quickly removes bacteria and inflammation as well as healing and strengthening the cells of the bones and ligaments of the joint.

(1) https://equimed.com/diseases-and-conditions/reference/joint-ill

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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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