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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • lameness;
  • green-lipped mussel;
  • Perna canaliculus;
  • osteoarthritis;
  • degenerative joint disease;
  • Biolane

Summary

Reasons for performing study: Lyophilised products from green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus[LPPC]) are used to orally treat horses with osteoarthritis (OA). However, no randomised, controlled or double-blinded studies on the efficacy of this treatment in horses have been reported to date.

Objective: To investigate the effects of a unique LPPC (Biolane)1 in improving clinical signs of OA in the fetlock.

Methods: Data were analysed from 26 horses with primary fetlock lameness in a controlled, randomised and double-blinded, multi-centre clinical trial. The study design was a partial crossover with a washout period and consisted of 19 horses treated with LPPC and 20 with a placebo. Horses were dosed orally with 25 mg/kg bwt/day LPPC or placebo for 56 days. Efficacy was evaluated by clinical assessment of lameness, passive flexion, pain, swelling and heat in the affected joint. Relationships between variables were analysed using an ordinal logistic model with random effects for horse and horse x treatment according to a modified intention-to-treat analysis.

Results: Clinical evaluation of horses with a fetlock lameness treated with LPPC showed a significant reduction in severity of lameness (P<0.001), improved response to the joint flexion test (P<0.001) and reduced joint pain (P = 0.014) when compared with horses treated with placebo.

Conclusions: The LPPC significantly alleviated the severity of lameness and joint pain and improved response to joint flexion in horses with lameness attributable to OA in the fetlock.