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Equine Vet J Suppl. 2006 Aug;(36):622-5.

Double blind investigation of the effects of oral supplementation of combined glucosamine hydrochloride (GHCL) and chondroitin sulphate (CS) on stride characteristics of veteran horses.

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1
Animal and Equine Science Department, Myerscough College, St. Michaels Road, Bilsborrow, Preston, PR3 ORY Lancashire, UK.

Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY:

Oral chondroprotective supplements are commercially popular for veteran (and other athletic or arthritic) horses prone to joint degeneration, yet lack conclusive scientific support.

OBJECTIVES:

To quantify the effects of an oral joint supplement (combination glucosamine hydrochloride (GHCL), chondroitin sulphate (CS) and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine) in vivo on stride parameters of veteran horses.

METHODS:

Twenty veteran horses were randomly assigned to a treatment (n = 15) or placebo group (n = 5). Pre-treatment gait characteristics were recorded at trot using digital video footage (50 Hz). The range of joint motion, stride length, and swing and stance duration were assessed using 2-dimensional motion analysis. Treatment (or placebo) was administered daily for 12 weeks at the manufacturer's recommended dosage. Gait was reassessed every 4 weeks using the pre-treatment protocol. Double blind procedure was implemented throughout. Relationships between variables were analysed using General Linear Model.

RESULTS:

Differences occurred in the treated horses by week 8. Range of joint motion increased significantly in the elbow (P<0.05), stifle and hind fetlock (P<0.01). Stride length increased significantly (P<0.05) with treatment. Swing duration was significantly increased at week 12 (P<0.05), whilst stance duration remained constant.

CONCLUSION:

The oral chondroprotective offered symptomatic relief to veteran horses, evidenced by improved stride characteristics.

POTENTIAL RELEVANCE:

Oral GHCL and CS supplementation may improve welfare by alleviating symptoms of degenerative joint disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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