Editor’s note: According to the AAEP horse owner survey, the top three things that horse owners want from vets are 24/7 coverage, a veterinarian who values them and their horse and communicates well, and a practitioner who keeps up with medical advances. With that in mind, regular installments of Keeping Up will headline recent information to keep you abreast of research and advances in the equine medical community, with some business twists added on.
Treatment for Distal Tarsal Osteoarthritis
Common sites of intra-articular (IA) injection of anti-inflammatory medications target the distal tarsal joints to achieve pain relief and reduce lameness. A recently published study, A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of resveratrol administration in performance horses with lameness localized to the distal tarsal joints, (A.E. Watts, et al, J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016 Sep 15;249(6):650-9), examined the effects of oral supplementation with resveratrol following intra-articular (IA) treatment with anti-inflammatory medication.
The researchers used 21 horses supplemented with reseveratrol and 20 horses given a placebo oral medication following IA injection with triamcinolone in the centro-distal and tarsometatarsal joints of both hocks. (Natural reseveratrol derives from the skin of red grapes, and from certain berries and peanuts.) Over the four-month period of reseveratrol (or placebo) treatment, owners gave their impressions as to how well their horses were doing. At two months, 95% of horses given reseveratrol were reported as having improved performance as compared to 70% of the placebo-fed horses. At four months, 86% of owners with reseveratrol-fed horses claimed improved performance compared to comments of improvement by 50% of owners of placebo-fed horses.
While there was a difference in performance assessment between the two groups, with the reseveratrol-treated group demonstrating greater improvement, it is important to note that subjective treatment scores and pelvic asymmetry in motion did not differ between the two groups.
Some clients are using resveratrol as a supplement, so sharing this type of information can let them know you are keeping up on supplement science.