Research Journal

Serum Treatment Helps with Arthritis

A randomized controlled trial was conducted using 16 horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis of the carpus.

Once a week for 4 weeks a placebo treatment was injected into the affected joint of half the horses and an experimental treatment prepared from the horse’s own blood serum (autologous conditioned serum) was injected into the affected joint of the treatment group. Horses were followed for 70 days to assess the clinical, biochemical and histologic effects of treatment.

No adverse signs associated with the treatment were noted. Horses treated with the autologous conditioned serum had significantly improved lameness scores after 70 days, but no difference was noted in joint swelling or response to joint flexion. Treated horses had less hyperplasia of the synovial membrane and higher levels of a beneficial mediator of joint inflammation (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, IL-1a) compared with controls. The authors attributed clinical improvements seen with the treatment to increased IL-1a levels.

Further work aimed at increasing IL-1a activity may improve the management of arthritis in horses.

—Frisbie et al. AJVR 2006;68:290-296.

Semi-Feral Ponies Trim Their Own Hooves

A herd of semi-feral Shetland size ponies (half stallions, half mares) was used to describe a cycle of natural hoof trimming from June through September.

The ponies were maintained in a free-roaming environment on 50 acres of Pennsylvania native pasture. These pastures were lush…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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