Research Journal: March 2017

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Resveratrol For Bone Spavin

Resveratrol, a natural substance found in grape skins and other plants, is thought to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Veterinarians in Texas conducted a randomized, blinded clinical trial examining the outcomes of horses with bone spavin (arthritis of the distal tarsal joints) when treated with a corticosteroid joint injection followed by oral supplementation with resveratrol compared with the same joint injection followed by an oral placebo treatment. They randomly assigned the two treatments to 45 horses with naturally occurring lameness localized to the distal hock joints and followed the outcome for 4 months while the horses returned to work. The owners and clinicians in the study were unaware of which animals were receiving resveratrol versus the placebo.

Significantly more riders reported an improvement in performance when horses received resveratrol compared to the placebo after 2 months (95% improved vs. 70%) and 4 months (86% vs. 50%). Treated horses also showed better measurements of vertical pelvic movement versus expected pelvic movement for each stride compared to the controls. There were no differences between treated and control horses in measures of the degree of asymmetry of pelvis movement over all collected strides and in subjective lameness scores based on examination by the attending clinicians. The authors concluded treatment with resveratrol in addition to corticosteroid joint injections resulted in reduced lameness due to bone spavin compared to the joint injections alone. However, the results were not unequivocal and the magnitudes of the effect on improved performance suggest to this…

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Albert Kane

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

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