A way to get more from hock injections

Use of a daily antioxidant supplement made from red grapes can help boost the efficacy of hock injections.

Research from Texas A&M shows that horses who receive daily resveratrol supplementation after a steroid injection for hock lameness do better than those who receive only an injection.

A veterinarian flexing a horse's hock
Pairing joint injections with a supplement containing resveratrol can lead to greater improvement in lameness.

For the study, researchers followed 45 horses who were given injections to treat hock lameness. For the next four months, half of horses received an oral supplement containing resveratrol, an antioxidant-like compound found in the skin of red grapes, twice a day. The remaining horses were given a placebo oral supplement. The study was blinded, meaning that owners and the treating veterinarians did not know which of the supplements, the resveratrol or the placebo, the horses were receiving. 

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Sixty and 120 days after the hock injections, the owners were surveyed about how their horses were doing, in particular whether the hock lameness had been reduced, stayed the same or had become worse. Those whose horses had been given the resveratrol supplement reported an improvement significantly more often than did the owners whose horses received the placebo. Additionally, the horses given the resveratrol supplement showed significantly greater reduction in lameness at the recheck veterinary examination, four months after the hock injections.

Based on this evidence, the researchers conclude that the supplement “resulted in reduced lameness.” 

Reference:A randomized, controlled trial of the effects of resveratrol administration in performance horses with lameness localized to the distal tarsal joints,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, September 2016

This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #472

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