Resveratrol Supplement Can Help Reduce Hock Lameness

Horses consuming the supplement following joint injections were less lame than control horses, researchers found.
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Dr. Ashlee Watts (above) and colleagues found that horses consuming a resveratrol supplement for four months following IA triamcinolone injections in the lower hock joints were significantly less lame, both objectively and subjectively, than horses consuming a placebo supplement. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Ashlee Watts

That glass of red wine you have with dinner is purported to hold numerous health benefits, ranging from lowering your risk of heart disease to preventing insulin resistance, all thanks to a compound found in many plants including grape skin: resveratrol. And in a recent study researchers determined that this compound could help horses with osteoarthritis—one of the most common performance-limiting problems in horses, as well.

Beyond rest, intra-articular (IA, in the joint) corticosteroid injections, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug administration, many horse owners also use nutraceuticals in an effort to prevent joint disease or reduce its effects.

“Despite their wide appeal, however, there is little clinical evidence that these nutritional supplements are efficacious in reducing lameness severity,” said Ashlee Watts, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, an assistant professor of large animal surgery at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, in College Station

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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