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



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


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.


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.


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.


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


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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