Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Drug combination may limit joint damage

Research at the University of Sydney suggests that a new osteoarthritis drug combination could significantly extend the working life of racing and other performance horses.

Previous studies has evaluated various medications for the treatment of osteoarthritis in horses, but this is one of the first to show a new drug combination has the ability to slow down damage to joints, rather than just alleviate pain.

"Osteoarthritis is a major cause of wastage in athletic horses, with a significant economic impact on the equine industry," said Dr Toby Koenig, surgical resident at the University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Camden, and lead researcher for the study.

"We found a new combination of three commonly used drugs - pentosan polysulphate, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid - can reduce the damage experienced during strenuous exercise," he added.

"Until now the focus has been on minimising pain for horses suffering from osteoarthritis. We think this new drug combination could have significant impact on the way horses are treated, potentially extending careers of horses in racing, dressage and other competitive events."


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