Thursday, June 10, 2010

What's up with my supp? Part III (Overwhelmed)

Thanks for hanging in there through parts I and II.

At Rolex this year I bought a joint supplement for Riley -- but it totally underwhelmed. A little research into the product revealed that Texas A&M did a study on that supplement that yielded lukewarm results. While they had a ton of press releases about this study before it actually occurred, the product name was nowhere to be found on the published report and there were no press releases about the unimpressive results. Shocker.

So... I started looking for new a new joint supplement. I decided to consider only those ingredients that have actual double blind clinical studies supporting their effectiveness. Guess what, that whittles down the choices quite a bit.

Now ask me what supplements I ended up selecting?  Well, not the ones below, although the ingredients are similar.  I've come to have some distinct preferences in supplements -- no powder, no liquid, for example. I'm trying Flex-Max from Absorbine and SmartSenior for Harv, along with a collagen supplement I've blogged about.

My vet told me that horses' response to a joint supplement is highly individual -- what works for one may not work for another, and I don't think science has unravelled the mystery. Till then, we experiment till we find the elixir of equine soft tissue support!



  • Rodgers  MR.  Effects of Oral Glucosamine and  Chondroitin Sulfates  Supplementation on Frequency of  Intra-articular Therapy of the  Horse Tarsus. Intern J Appl Res Vet Med  4(2), 2006.
  • Fortier L. Systemic Therapies for Joint Disease in Horses Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, Volume 21, Issue 3, Pages 547-557 t is probably wise to recommend to clients that they begin therapy with Cosequin."
  • Oke S. Evaluation of glucosamine levels in commercial equine oral supplements for joints. Equine Veterinary Journal 2006 38(1):93-95
  • Hanson, RR, Oral treatment with a nutraceutical (Cosequin) for ameliorating signs of navicular syndrome in horses.  Vet Ther. 2001 Spring 2(2):148-59. 
  • Study Shows Cosequin Helps Navicular Horses,  The Horse 
  • Fortier, L.  Systemic therapies for joint disease in horses. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice, 21(3), December 2005, Pages 547-557

Sashas EQ
  • Pearson, W. Evaluation of inflammatory responses induced via intra-articular injection of interleukin-1 in horses receiving a dietary nutraceutical and assessment of the clinical effects of long-term nutraceutical administration. American Journal of Veterinary Research July 2009, Vol. 70, No. 7, Pages 848-861 
  • Pearson, W., Orth, M. and Lindinger, M.I. (2009) Response to intra-articular IL-1 by
    horses receiving an anti-inflammatory dietary nutraceutical and safety of the

    product over 12-weeks. Am. J. Vet. Res. In Press.

CONQUER Liquid/gel

GLC 5500



Quality counts with joint supplements. Veterinary Practice News by Lynn Tiffany. "Only GLC 5500 and Cosequin Optimized have received Consumer Labs approval in the equine category to meet both label claim and test free of lead contaminates.”



  1. The only supplement I've found to work for my endurance horses' joints is monthly Adequan injections. I buy it from Allivet, with an Rx of course. The cost is around $45.00 an injection, and I give it myself.

  2. Best thing I ever did was switch from Adequan (which did work to some degree) to a therapeutic dose by weight of pure human grade glucosamine AND chondroitin. Not one of the many oral supplements I looked at actually had therapeutic does of both ingredients.

    My 21-year old gelding is moving better than he did when he was 15. My 27-year old mare with very arthritic knees goes up and down the hills of our fields, trots, canters, gallops, and even piaffes when she feels like it.

  3. I have even less luck with joint supplements for myself....

    My vet likes least it's not as expensive as some of them.

  4. I'm planning on picking bases on who developed the product, what grade the ingredients are, if the nutrition seems to be based on science etc. I don't need a joint supplement for my guy yet but I've started looking since I'm so picky. So far I'm shocked at who is developing the products-maybe a future post? So far I have only talked to/ researched a couple comapnies-and not the huge ones but still known- but so far none of the people who design the product have ANY degree in equine nutrition. I kinda of shy away from the super big companies- I just feel like they are always cutting corners to get a larger profit margin. Probably totally irrational but still. The hunt continues for a solid supplement based on science that works!

  5. We're currently on MSM for Bella. I like that it has been shown to improve hoof and coat (she is a Tb, after all!). She's only 11 and hasn't raced since 2003. I'd like to start off slow and work up to the bigger supps eventually. Since she's not in a whole lot of work here, and on our pasture 24/7, I don't see a need for the "big guns" just yet. I do see it in our future.


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