Title

Efficacy of an oral joint supplement in exercising horses

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Cheryl Porr

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The equine healthcare market is a multimillion-dollar industry. Hyaluronic acid (HA), found the in synovial fluid of normal joints, is commonly found in joint supplements and has been used as an oral supplement in horses for over 10 years. However, it is often used in combination with other joint supplements, including glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and methylsulphonylmethane. There is little research on how HA alone affects joint health in horses. Hyaluronex® is an HA supplement used to support joint health as an alternative for joint injections. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of an orally fed HA gel supplement on exercising horses. Twenty exercising horses were initially selected for the study. Treatment horses received Hyaluronex® for 35 days. Before and after supplementation, each horse had a flexion test performed by a licensed veterinarian, and a subset of horses was evaluated for stride length under saddle. A survey was also completed by independent evaluators at 3 and 5 weeks of supplementation to assess changes in horses during exercise periods. Statistical analysis for each evaluation was performed to assess changes as a result of HA supplementation. If shown, this type of supplement could potentially decrease costs associated with joint health care in horses.

Location

South Lobby, Waterfield Library

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Efficacy of an oral joint supplement in exercising horses

South Lobby, Waterfield Library

The equine healthcare market is a multimillion-dollar industry. Hyaluronic acid (HA), found the in synovial fluid of normal joints, is commonly found in joint supplements and has been used as an oral supplement in horses for over 10 years. However, it is often used in combination with other joint supplements, including glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and methylsulphonylmethane. There is little research on how HA alone affects joint health in horses. Hyaluronex® is an HA supplement used to support joint health as an alternative for joint injections. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of an orally fed HA gel supplement on exercising horses. Twenty exercising horses were initially selected for the study. Treatment horses received Hyaluronex® for 35 days. Before and after supplementation, each horse had a flexion test performed by a licensed veterinarian, and a subset of horses was evaluated for stride length under saddle. A survey was also completed by independent evaluators at 3 and 5 weeks of supplementation to assess changes in horses during exercise periods. Statistical analysis for each evaluation was performed to assess changes as a result of HA supplementation. If shown, this type of supplement could potentially decrease costs associated with joint health care in horses.