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faluut42
Dec. 4, 2009, 05:38 PM
I know this thread should be in Horse Care but I wanted to talk to eventers mainly.

I just bought a 13 yr old TB mare. I have always had my event horses on joint supplements. Last event horse was 20 yrs old so you could see a little bit of diffrence when he was on a joint supplement. But for a horse that doesnt have any soundness issues, and is competeing at prelim. Do joint supplements do that much? And if they do, who much, and are they worth giving? Is it worth not giving a oral joint supplement and instead give adequan or legend?

I am a part time college student and paying for my own horses so anywhere I can spair to spend money is much needed.

I do think MSM works and notice a difference, but all the others, Cosequin, SmartFlex, ect., are they worth the $30-$50+ a month?

shawneeAcres
Dec. 4, 2009, 05:47 PM
MSM is the only feed thru joint supplement that has studies showing it does work. However, all other feed thru joint supplements are not proven. My vet feels that Adequan or legend is a better option, she says it won't hurt to feed joint supplements and MAY help, but no definitive proof. All my horses that compete or work hard get MSM daily but no other feed supplements.

WishIWereRiding
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:09 PM
If you are looking to save money, I would not spend it on Cosequin, etc. MSM I would (and it's cheap), and I think Adequan is worthwhile too.

Wee Dee Trrr
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:12 PM
When you do the math, I believe that Adequan is about $40 per month (after the loading dose) and you KNOW they received the ENTIRE amount. Get someone to teach you to do IM injections and you're set!

purplnurpl
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:47 PM
MSM is the only feed thru joint supplement that has studies showing it does work. However, all other feed thru joint supplements are not proven. My vet feels that Adequan or legend is a better option, she says it won't hurt to feed joint supplements and MAY help, but no definitive proof. All my horses that compete or work hard get MSM daily but no other feed supplements.

ditto 100%

I also do only MSM and then an injection.
Actually I use Legend. IV, once a month.
That and actual joint injections for hocks if they flex hot.
Adequan is only proven for the loading dose--not monthly.

eventingismylife
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:48 PM
I had a 14yr old TB mare that had a partially fused hock, I gave her SmartFlex Repair and it worked wonders. She was never sore, lame or stiff on it. I tried Cosiquin SP first and it didn't do anything. I am not big on feeding spendy supplements, but I definitely recommend SmartFlex Repair for any horse because it is both a tendon supplement as well as a joint supplement.

VicariousRider
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:56 PM
Sounds like a lot of good advice. I don't have much personal experience with Adequan/Legend.

FWIW, my 16 y.o. 3/4 TB 1/4 Trak. mare does really well with an oral supplement that has some joint stuff (MSM, Glucosamine/Chondroitin) but also has biotin, probiotics and multi-vitamin combo. She also gets her hocks injected 1x a year. I really feel that the supplement is worth the $. The over-all improvement in her physical condition seems to make her go better (better movement, flexibility, attitude, coat, hooves, etc).

I understand your situation. I paid for my mare all through college (full time) by babysitting, mucking, etc. I did pay for this supplement, though. It tipped the scale from "good" to "great."

Hope you find a combo that works for you!

VicariousRider
Dec. 4, 2009, 07:58 PM
I had a 14yr old TB mare that had a partially fused hock, I gave her SmartFlex Repair and it worked wonders. S

I just want to second the quality of the SmartPak brand supplements in general. I have been very pleased with them and they are substantially less expensive in most cases.

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 4, 2009, 08:27 PM
I suspect that deltawave will weigh in here with her comments on the efficacy (or lack thereof) of joint supplements, and also whether or not it's worth the money to do it--based on the hard evidence ;), but the general consensus is that joint supplements are SO variable (in terms of the amounts of the "active ingredients" that are actually IN the supplement) that feeding them is pretty much a crap shoot. And possibly a waste of money, but it depends. Apparently Cosequin ASU has been proven to be one of the few joint supplements that actually has clinical evidence on its side. You need to get it from a vet (or have a vet's script) so it is on the pricey side. MSM is a pretty good bet (has some evidence that it does help), and is quite affordable. Cheap, actually! Of course there is some anecdotal evidence that it makes some horses "spooky" (though in my horse's case--who has been on it for 4-5 years now--EVERYTHING is an excuse for her to be spooky, so as much as I would *like* to blame the MSM, oh well.)

I now save my money on feed supplements, and instead use both Legend and Adequan (which have different and complementary effects; a "one two punch", as it were), since they have been proven to work, and I do notice a difference in my horse when she is on them. Or since she has been on them. As for their "prophylactic value", I have to say that I have had my mare on both of these for several years, and she was aggressively flexed on all 4 legs, all joints, and jogged out--barefoot and on gravel--about a year and a half ago (for reasons unrelated to any lameness: primarily an overzealous and bill padding vet who was trying to "diagnose" a tight muscle by giving my horse a full out lameness exam. Can we say "bill padding" here?!? Oy.) Anyway, she got a zero out of zero on flexions. And at the time, was a coming 10 year old who was about to bump up to Prelim.

IMO, I feel it has been worth the money for Legend and Adequan, and would (and do) recommend the protocol to all of my students who have horses in hard, full work. (My last horse--a giant TB gelding who was VERY hard on his joints--NEEDED this. My present horse? If it makes her happy and healthy and as sound as she can be, it's worth the money, in my book! Luckily my vet provides me with a script, so I can order them wholesale and give them myself. Highly recommend doing this if you have a cooperative vet; it will save you a ton of $$.)

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 4, 2009, 08:35 PM
Sounds like a lot of good advice. I don't have much personal experience with Adequan/Legend.

FWIW, my 16 y.o. 3/4 TB 1/4 Trak. mare does really well with an oral supplement that has some joint stuff (MSM, Glucosamine/Chondroitin) but also has biotin, probiotics and multi-vitamin combo. She also gets her hocks injected 1x a year. I really feel that the supplement is worth the $. The over-all improvement in her physical condition seems to make her go better (better movement, flexibility, attitude, coat, hooves, etc).

I understand your situation. I paid for my mare all through college (full time) by babysitting, mucking, etc. I did pay for this supplement, though. It tipped the scale from "good" to "great."

Hope you find a combo that works for you!

For the other things mentioned by VicariousRider, I would suggest getting the flax supplement (there are several options with various additivies) from HorseTech; their supplements contain everything that she mentioned helped her horse (and it's high quality stuff--I use it myself :)), but I would STILL pony up for the Legend/Adequan instead of a joint supplement. I suspect that VR's mare is sound as a result of ALL that she is doing for her--*but* the yearly hock injections certainly have a lot to do with it! Otherwise, the supps she is giving her probably help "support" her soundness through the rest of the year.

deltawave
Dec. 4, 2009, 08:51 PM
Basically since none of them has anything even remotely close to good clinical research (yes, even Cosequin--their data are lousy) the answer is "who knows?". If you have the money to spend, and it makes you feel better to do so, try a few--some people swear by this or that or the other.

For my money, I go with Adequan if I have a horse that needs "a little something". :)

Dang, Dr. D, I should've saved my breath! :D :D I'm so danged predictable. :sigh: ;)

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 4, 2009, 09:54 PM
Basically since none of them has anything even remotely close to good clinical research (yes, even Cosequin--their data are lousy) the answer is "who knows?". If you have the money to spend, and it makes you feel better to do so, try a few--some people swear by this or that or the other.

For my money, I go with Adequan if I have a horse that needs "a little something". :)

Dang, Dr. D, I should've saved my breath! :D :D I'm so danged predictable. :sigh: ;)

:lol: :lol:

Yes, well, you may be predictable, but you DO have your "cadre" of loyal followers, who listen to what you say--and take it seriously...;)

midnightride
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:04 PM
HYALURONEX!!!!! i get it from SmartPak..... totally works. Have tried them all... and since i race also did an in barn "study" and it works in my opinion as well as Legend....

Also shove as much Omega 3's down her as possible.

RegentLion
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:39 PM
Dr. Doolittle, I'd LOVE to hear more about your legend/adequan protocols. (How much, how often, etc.) I've had good luck with legend the one time I used it. I've also used injectable glucosamine and didn't notice a difference one way or another.

I'm currently feeding whole flax seed as I've heard it can do great things for joints as well as coats. Something to do with making prostaglandins, I think. I'm too lazy to hunt up the book. :p

Deltawave, I am one of those that listens to what you have to say--it makes SENSE. (The poultice issue sticks out clearly).

The problem that I have with joint supps is that there seem to be no studies, and each supplement claims to be best.... and what makes "A" best is directly opposite of what makes "B" best. (Glucosamine Sulfate vs Glucosamine HCL for example). And somewhere I read that there are issues with particle size, etc. So the whole thing has me baffled. And I for one CAN'T afford to waste my money on joint supps that will just make very expensive poop soup on a cold winter night.

VicariousRider
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:02 PM
For the other things mentioned by VicariousRider, I would suggest getting the flax supplement (there are several options with various additivies) from HorseTech;

For clarification, the supplement I was referring to is by HorseTech! Very good, Dr. D! :) You know your supplements!

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:19 PM
I'm quite flattered that I am now a "joint support guru" :lol:

Will respond on the morrow to RL...

faluut42
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:25 PM
I can give IM and IV shots so that will save me money. Right now I work at Starr Vaughn (a well known facility around here), and am training a few horses so I luckliy I can afford to do legend and/or adequan if i plan my money well. I just cant afford anything that doesnt work.

I am definatly planning on putting my mare on MSM, that has worked wonders for my horse.

I have used to have my old guy on SmartFlex Repair and it seemed to work, but my new mare so far doesnt need a joint supp.

So new question, what are the exact diffrences between Legend and Adequan? What are the exact functions?

eventingismylife
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:27 PM
I forgot to add that I only used Adequan 1-2x a year if needed in addition to my joint supplement. It works great!

SevenDogs
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:34 PM
I have always ridden older horses and competed at the lower levels of eventing and First Level dressage successfully on horses in their 20's and even 30's! The BIGGEST thing about older horses is KEEP THEM MOVING! If they sit several days, it isn't good and no supplement/injection is going to change that. Supplements/injectables are good but very much in a second position to consistent excercise.

In the old days (before Adequan/Legend), I fed Flex Free religiously and felt like it helped. I have used Adequan for the past 7 or so years (instead of the feed through supplements) and feel like it is a huge step up. Ironically, I was out riding my old guy this morning, who got his monthly Adequan shot a few days ago, and was thinking what an amazing product it is and how much BETTER it is than the feed throughs. Kind of funny that I was thinking about that and came home to this thread.

I have also used Legend on occasion and here is how my vet explained the difference between Legend and Adequan. Adequan is slower acting but builds on itself over time and lasts longer. It is most appropriate for chronic conditions (arthritis, etc.) and is what I use the most for my old guys. Legend is faster acting (a bigger boom up front) but does not build on itself as much and doesn't last as long? It is a good product when you horse has an injury or you want your horse to have a boost (say before he/she is going to work hard at a show, etc.).

I have used them in conjunction sometimes, but it does get expensive. Also, through careful shopping, you can find Adequan for $40 a vial. Legend is significantly more (I don't do IV shots so it costs about $125 in addition to any call fees in my area).

Hope that helps some? I think Adequan is a good value and works really well for older horses. That would be where I put my money if I were limited.

deltawave
Dec. 5, 2009, 08:41 AM
The problem that I have with joint supps is that there seem to be no studies, and each supplement claims to be best...

Me too. :) It's not baffling to me at all. It's just advertising, with no governing body requiring proof or accountability. Caveat emptor! ;)

RAyers
Dec. 5, 2009, 10:52 AM
HYALURONEX!!!!! i get it from SmartPak..... totally works. Have tried them all... and since i race also did an in barn "study" and it works in my opinion as well as Legend....

Also shove as much Omega 3's down her as possible.

So, if it works as well as Legend then that means you sacrificed a horse or two, and pulled histology/immunohistochemistry on the cartilage to look at Type II collagen synthesis etc.? Or did you simply notice diminished symptoms but the disease was still progressing?

At least companies such as Bayer, Luitpold, Wyeth, etc. are required to actually elucidate the specific effects of their products, unlike most of the supplement industry.

I am afraid, it is this sort of assessment that nutraceutical companies love as they get to make claims with no substantiation.

Reed

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 5, 2009, 11:04 AM
Dr. Doolittle, I'd LOVE to hear more about your legend/adequan protocols. (How much, how often, etc.) I've had good luck with legend the one time I used it. I've also used injectable glucosamine and didn't notice a difference one way or another.

I'm currently feeding whole flax seed as I've heard it can do great things for joints as well as coats. Something to do with making prostaglandins, I think. I'm too lazy to hunt up the book. :p

Deltawave, I am one of those that listens to what you have to say--it makes SENSE. (The poultice issue sticks out clearly).

The problem that I have with joint supps is that there seem to be no studies, and each supplement claims to be best.... and what makes "A" best is directly opposite of what makes "B" best. (Glucosamine Sulfate vs Glucosamine HCL for example). And somewhere I read that there are issues with particle size, etc. So the whole thing has me baffled. And I for one CAN'T afford to waste my money on joint supps that will just make very expensive poop soup on a cold winter night.

"Expensive poop soup on a cold winter night"...Love it! :D (And what a visual. Maybe we could put that little ditty into a Holiday song! :lol:)

Anyway, the protocol that's recommended is a "loading dose" of Adequan (usually at the beginning of competition season), which is 7 vials over a period of 28 days. (One shot every 4 days; it comes in a 7 vial pack, which I get from Allivet for what USED to be a reasonable rate. think I paid about $265--I just checked the website, and it's up to $289! :sigh: After the loading dose, you can administer it on an "as needed basis", though opinions vary as to what that constitutes. I usually give it once a month, starting a month after the last shot of the loading dose (this is when my horse is in regular work, and competing during the year.) Some people feel that the loading does should last them all year, some say 6 months, some say "it depends on the horse." I know that once I started using it, there was a subtle but discernable difference in the way my mare moved--noticable enough that my HUSBAND commented on it! (He IS very observant, though ;)), but this was also during the summer when the ground was hard. A year or so later, she strained a tendon sheath while cavorting in the pasture (in Feb., on the half frozen ground), and that took awhile to heal because fluid built up (that had to be drained), and my vet at the time gave her about 7 shots of Legend over a period of a couple weeks. (Little did I know that this was NOT covered by my insurance company! :eek:) The result?? WOW! She was "sounder than sound" coming out of this, and all her windpuffs completely dissapeared. Potent stuff!

I was a convert after that, so started giving her Legend on a semi-regular basis (when I could afford it during competition season, in addition to the Adequan), and she got it maybe every other month (when she was competing and conditioning.)

As mentioned, their effects are complementary, and I gave both to my last horse (and this horse) because I could see the results in them.

Adequan is supposed to inhibit cartilage damage, and actually promote/assist the repair process; Legend is HA, which is primarily an inti-inflammatory. It "calms down" the inflammatory response in joints (as a result of work *or* trauma), so is supposed to help prevent some of the damaging aftereffects of wear and tear, concussion, etc. My present vet (who has been treating my mare for an injury, from which she has mostly recovered) believes in giving Legend the day AFTER a strenuous workout of a competition, since she believes it helps "clean up the damage" from the extra exertion and stress on the joints.

I have been giving my mare Adequan shots once a month (after the loading dose early this year)' as well as monthly Legend (though right after the injury, I hit her up with some extra Legend to help with the initial inflammation), and even though she is now back in "only light work", I hope to put her back into full work, as long as she reminsa sound. In the meantime, these particular therapies can only be helpful, since her diagnosis was "traumatic intra-articular high ringbone", with irritation of the synovial sac surrounding the pastern joint (the injury was not *at* the joint, but was a centimeter away from it, so the bone remodeling process has caused the joint sac to be slightly inflamed; she did get an HA/steroid injection into the joint sac about 5 weeks ago, which helped immensely!)

Sorry for the "book", here!

Anyway, I intend to keep her on both (monthly) throughout her rehab (and if she responds well to the increasing workload over the next couple/three months, I will ante up for another 7 vial pack of Adequan, and "load her up" again for 2010.

Since my awesome vet has given me an unlimited prescription, I can get Legend for $73 a vial from Allivet (though I should check, their prices may have gone up on that, too :(), with free shipping. I don't give IV shots, but my generous BM charges a whopping $5 to give her the shot for me (and I give her the IM Adequan.)

IMO, these things work better and more reliably than the feed supplements, and if you break it down, they aren't that much more expensive (not counting the loading dose of Adequan.) Some people (including a few of my students) just use Legend a few times a year: when the ground is hard, when their horse is feeling a little stiff, or when they have a couple of more taxing competitions planned. (So you don't necessarily have to give it monthly--just listen to your horse ;))

There are many threads on this over on the HC forum, with actual "knowledgeable folks" (like Reed Ayers, and vets) weighing in on the topic.
I'm just a consumer of the products, so am sharing info about how they have worked for me and my horses--which may or may not be helpful! You might want to talk to your own vet, too. And of course you know your own horse (so will be able to tell when they might need a little something, and also feel when or whether something *does* actually seem to help them), which will factor into what you decide to use--and how frequently you use it. :)

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 5, 2009, 11:05 AM
And while I was rattling on, Reed himself weighed in! :D

quietann
Dec. 5, 2009, 03:07 PM
My protocol, for an 11 YO Morgan mare with some arthritis and in moderate work (lots of dressage, little jumping) is once a month IV Polyglycan from the vet (surprised no one has mentioned it) and SmartFlex Support (the level II in the SmartFlex series.) I started with the supplement alone and it did not make quite enough difference. Total cost for the two is about $75/month. If I was just bumming around on her and not trying to keep her in show shape, I'd drop one or the other.

Laurierace
Dec. 5, 2009, 03:46 PM
I am not going to quote so we don't have to delete both posts but DrD you just outed your BO in a crime if they charged you to give an IV injection. You might want to delete that part of your post and suggest that they don't charge for that service in the future if they are going to provide it.

lizathenag
Dec. 5, 2009, 03:56 PM
I started giving my 11 year old lab the same dose of chrondroitin/glucosamine as I take and within a month she was a younger dog. easily jumps on the bed. races around the coffee table when I come home. stands up on her back legs to look over the fence.

midnightride
Dec. 5, 2009, 04:05 PM
OK- yes you are right... HOWEVER!!
On the one horse I started using the Oral HA on it did work.Period. He had been on Adaquan and Legand and for almost a year. His joint had been injected so many times at the track that it was simply not an option to do any more. At one point this summer he was so lame behind from not being able to walk up front that he was stall bound for a month. A vet that knows the horse had recommended a different Oral HA- after doing some studying i thought that the Hyaluronex was a better try.
Once it arrived I used it 2X day and he was back out in about 3 weeks. A month after that he was playing in the field totally sound and i was hacking him.
He still gets Adaquan once a month.
I have noticed dramatic effects on other horses also, including one that had major bad hocks from the track.
I still use Adaquan and Legend and this is the ONLY OTC product i use for joint health. edit- I also use OCD Pellets.... have lots of x-rays possibly proving the POSSIBLE, POSSIBLE positive effect of the product- yes the horses may have developed better bone on their own but these did it while still in work and faster than expect by the vets. end edit.
Not sure this is not a cheaper option than Legend but may be easier for people not able to give injections themselves.

totally get what you are saying and in all other cases i agree fully but i have had great results with this one product.

But it is simply my horses opinion, and NO I will not stop using it!!!!

pegasusmom
Dec. 5, 2009, 05:50 PM
Save your money and spend it for Adequan and Legend. We do (for a horse competing at intermediate and a top level polocrosse horse) one "loading" series of Adequan per year, followed by a once a month booster. We give a Legend dose 48 hours prior to XC day (or the first day of a tournament for the polocrosse mare).

RAyers
Dec. 5, 2009, 06:55 PM
My protocol, for an 11 YO Morgan mare with some arthritis and in moderate work (lots of dressage, little jumping) is once a month IV Polyglycan (surprised no one has mentioned it)....

Because Polyglycan is only approved as a joint lavage and has never been shown to be effective in ameliorating joint disease. It is a smaller molecule than Adequan and has a very different mode of action.

Here is where supplements get everybody...

They can say they have the EXACT same chemistry as Adequan and Legend because they do. HOWEVER, it is NOT the chemistry that determines efficacy! It is the size of the molecule. Small molecules work very well on skin and other soft tissues. Large molecular weight of the SAME chemistry work better in bone and joints. Just because some thing is a polyglycan (e.g. glucosamine molecule) dose not a great supplement make.

midnightride, i didn't say to stop using the molecule. I simply pointed out a fallacy in your argument. Also, X-rays can NOT "see" cartilage. They can only see the joint space. They can not tell your WHAT TYPE of cartilage is there. The cartilage in there could be a good TYPE II Hyaline cartilage. It could just as easily be a TYPE I fibrocartilage that will turn to bone in time. The only way you know is to scope the joint.

Reed

midnightride
Dec. 5, 2009, 09:01 PM
ok

but we are talking older ottbs in my case, and ANY PORT IN THE STORM is good..... if this OTC option works better to get them happy and it is IMO better FOR ME!!!!
I have read the stuff, but can Adaquan and Legend really do what they say??? AND if that is so, have YOU or they proven that ANY of the others are totally useless????
Are you simply going on the studies done by major drug groups???
What about nontraditional methods, chiro, accu, Chinese herbs???
have you proven that science is right yourself????????

Dr. Doolittle
Dec. 5, 2009, 09:21 PM
Reed, so helpful (as always)

You should really charge an online fee for all of the comprehensive and detailed scientific information you share with we COThers. (OTOH, please don't; but know that we are very grateful to have it for no charge...;))

spaceagevalkyrie
Dec. 5, 2009, 10:00 PM
Hyalun. I've seen it used as a last resort on a few horses I never thought I'd see pasture sound again, much less ridden.

quietann
Dec. 5, 2009, 11:30 PM
Because Polyglycan is only approved as a joint lavage and has never been shown to be effective in ameliorating joint disease. It is a smaller molecule than Adequan and has a very different mode of action.


Reed, I know that the IV polyglycan injection is "off label" but it does work. I was skeptical but know several vets who've had great success with it, especially in horses with arthritis in other places than the hocks. The vet who started my mare on it said we'd go to hock injections if it didn't work, but it did... so there we are.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Dec. 6, 2009, 12:18 AM
So new question, what are the exact diffrences between Legend and Adequan? What are the exact functions?

This article is exactly on that topic--as others mentioned, they are not the same: http://www.ctrdvm.com/html/medications.html

RAyers
Dec. 6, 2009, 12:48 AM
Reed, I know that the IV polyglycan injection is "off label" but it does work. I was skeptical but know several vets who've had great success with it, especially in horses with arthritis in other places than the hocks. The vet who started my mare on it said we'd go to hock injections if it didn't work, but it did... so there we are.


What do you mean by "it worked?" Did it sure the disease or was the horse more comfortable? Making the animal more comfortable does not reverse articular damage. There is no regenerative capacity within hyaline cartilage. Some treatments coming out such as IGF with TNF-alpha/IL-1ra may actually regrow cartilage.

I know that the clinical definition (used by vets) is that the animal is sounder. But we can get the same effect with heavy NSAIDs or a variety of pain medicines.

Reed

deltawave
Dec. 6, 2009, 10:37 AM
It is worth pointing out again, probably, that there is a fairly wide and vast gulf of difference between saying

"It worked for me!"

and

"500 horses were studied in a rigorous fashion and this and this and this were demonstrated, leading researches to conclude that product X, when used thus, shows demonstrable benefit in animals with condition Y"

The latter is dry and tedious and it's not surprising nobody really wants to dig into it. Nor does even the most rigorous and excellent research/data come CLOSE to meaning a product will work all the time for every animal. But if you're saying "I *know* this stuff works" what you're really giving is an anecdote. No harm in them, they're very compelling to the individual, but even piles of them heaped up together cannot hold a candle to properly done research. :) So personally, when I choose, I go with the best evidence available.

So, umm, the answer to this:

can Adaquan and Legend really do what they say??? AND if that is so, have YOU or they proven that ANY of the others are totally useless????
Are you simply going on the studies done by major drug groups???
What about nontraditional methods, chiro, accu, Chinese herbs???
have you proven that science is right yourself????????

would be Yes!!!, No!!!!, Yes!!!, Nobody Knows!!!, Nobody Knows!!!, Nobody Knows!!!, Nobody Knows!!!, and No!!!!!!!!!!. :)

Since I've heard just as many "eh, it's worthless" anecdotes as I have "OMG, it's a MIRACLE!!" anecdotes for most of the products mentioned on this thread, I lump these stories all in the same category of nearly-worthless in terms of saying anything meaningful about actual effectiveness. But it's a free country, and we can and should stimulate the economy (and the nutraceutical industry) in any way we see fit. :D

quietann
Dec. 6, 2009, 04:35 PM
What do you mean by "it worked?" Did it sure the disease or was the horse more comfortable? Making the animal more comfortable does not reverse articular damage. There is no regenerative capacity within hyaline cartilage. Some treatments coming out such as IGF with TNF-alpha/IL-1ra may actually regrow cartilage.

I know that the clinical definition (used by vets) is that the animal is sounder. But we can get the same effect with heavy NSAIDs or a variety of pain medicines.

Reed

This was pretty much the clinical definition. E.g. a mare who was dragging her left hind foot slightly (though she would work out of it eventually) no longer does so. As for NSAIDs -- from what I know (which isn't a lot) they can cause stomach issues if used for a long period of time. (That said, an elderly TB mare I know got two more years of comfortable life, and no stomach problems, when twice-daily Bute was added to her feed. She's gone now, but it was good to see her happy and comfortable in her old age.)

Does IV polyglycan cure my mare? No. But it helps treat the symptoms of a chronic issue, and that is enough. (I mean, I am Type 1 diabetic, and short of a pancreas transplant, there is no cure. Does that mean I should stop taking insulin because it does not cure me?)

And yes -- this is ALL anecdotal (I am a biostatistician so I do know a bit about research!)

JAGold
Dec. 6, 2009, 04:44 PM
This was pretty much the clinical definition. E.g. a mare who was dragging her left hind foot slightly (though she would work out of it eventually) no longer does so. As for NSAIDs -- from what I know (which isn't a lot) they can cause stomach issues if used for a long period of time. (That said, an elderly TB mare I know got two more years of comfortable life, and no stomach problems, when twice-daily Bute was added to her feed. She's gone now, but it was good to see her happy and comfortable in her old age.)

[snip]

And yes -- this is ALL anecdotal (I am a biostatistician so I do know a bit about research!)

Then, don't you need to accept that you don't know if the relationship between the IV polyglycan and the mare's improvement was causal? Maybe she would have gotten better without the IV polyglycan. You can't know based on observing the pre and post symptoms from a single treated individual. It's great that the mare got better. But just because she was given IV polyglycan and she got better doesn't mean that the IV polyglycan caused her to get better.

JER
Dec. 6, 2009, 05:08 PM
What do you mean by "it worked?"

This is the question I keep asking. The answer is invariably an anecdote about a situation that is glaringly multifactorial ("I gave him X and a week off and etc...")

But let's not dismiss one of the most powerful tools of modern science, the Placebo Effect (or its equally important twin, the Nocebo Effect (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/nov/28/homeopathy-placebo-bad-science)).

Personally, I love placebos. I wish SmartPak offered them. I will always opt for the effective placebo over even the cheapest generic.

Like others here, I haven't seen any studies that would prompt me to give my horses oral joint supplements. Injectables? I did this with one particular horse for several years because he had a genetic tissue disorder and resulting chronic inflammation. I used one of the PSGAGs from Europe, recommended by my vet (also a foreigner) because he preferred its molecular weight to that of Adequan -- but this had to do with reducing inflammation in the affected leg rather than joint-related improvement. The horse did compete at Prelim till age 19 and is still hopping around at age 26 but he was always a very sound, tough, fit horse. (I bought him out of a hunt string so his soundness had already been tested significantly.)

(The horse in question ended up having a 'miracle recovery' from a mysterious organic ointment discovered in a magazine ad. This was quite a humbling experience as the JER household belongs to the Skeptic Society.)

S A McKee
Dec. 6, 2009, 05:12 PM
A few years ago one of my horses had a tendon injury. While he was recovering I put him on one of the supplements at the suggestion of the barn manager. He also had shockwave treatment, stall rest and hand walking plus nsaids and steroids to reduce inflamation.
The injury was not serious and after 8 weeks or so he was sound and ready to start walking under tack.
The barn manager insisted the recovery was due to the supplement. The vet reminded the barn manager that the horse had several other treatments and that 8 weeks of rest and recuperation on it's own will resolve a lot of injuries.
Hardly a controlled study. I suspect that in many of the cases where a 'miracle' cure happened there was other treatment and some rest involved.
Bottom line, when you have more than one drug or treatment being used you really can't prove what made the horse recover.
But the 'supp' folks would have you believe their stuff cures just everything. LOL