Ask the Vet – Do feed-thru joint supplements work?

SARAH: “Is there any
benefit to joint supplements given in feed?” Scandalous question. “I have been told they are
helpful but also that horses do not metabolize them
when given this way and injections are better. Is this true?” Great question. I’m really glad we get
to talk about this. DR LYDIA GRAY: I am, too. I actually found two,
now I can show you this, two pages of research. There’s tons and tons but– SARAH: These are just
the names of the studies and it’s two pages worth. This isn’t like the research. DR LYDIA GRAY: No, no no. These are just the
citations themselves. It’s got to do from everything– your main ingredients,
your glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, HA, MSM. The bio availability,
because I think that was one part
of her question, as well as the efficacy and
some of them the safety. One of them here,
here’s this one: “The effect of MSM on
bio-markers of oxidative stress in sport horses
following jumping exercise.” It doesn’t get much
more specific than that. These guys conducted
a great experiment and showed that a very, very
common joint supplement was not only taken in orally, got to
the tissues it needed to get to, but it had a positive effect. There’s one here from a
very well-known surgeon, Larry Bramlage. He gave oral HA to young
Thoroughbreds that had OCD, chip removal surgeries, and
found that the treatment group that got the HA had less
swelling and pain than the group that didn’t. We’re not supposed
to say those words, but that’s what
the research says. It’s hard to talk
about the research when that’s what it says. Here’s bio-availability,
pharmacokinetics, of glucosamine and
chondroitin sulfate. There’s tons and tons
of research out there. I pulled these from
Ask the Vet blogs. There’s probably a half
a dozen entries in– SARAH: Those are written
by a pretty smart lady. DR LYDIA GRAY: Well, I
had done the work already. I knew these studies
were up there, already. If you want to find
them, we can probably put a link on this video. SARAH: In the video description. DR LYDIA GRAY: That’s
where the link is going to take you to the Ask The
Vet blogs because they’re just, they’re all there. SARAH: So the important
words that you heard, at the beginning, were
“bio-availability.” Can your horse absorb it. Then efficacy, does it work. DR LYDIA GRAY: And safety. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY: There’s some
safety studies in here, too. SARAH: Yeah, for sure
but hopefully you guys know what that one means. It’s nice to see
that there’s research on all of those things. Improving and reinforcing it. I do want to talk just
for a minute if I could. DR LYDIA GRAY: This one I like. Sure. SARAH: Yeah. Go for it. DR LYDIA GRAY: Well
this is the one that Martha Rogers
did that said, consistent use of an oral
glucosamine chondroitin supplement, this was in
a barn of 100 jumpers, reduced the need for
hock joint injections. They were able to spread the
injections out farther and get more performance
out of the horses, spending less money basically. It shows a combination
of oral supplements for joints with other methods. SARAH: Yeah. So not that they worked better. They worked differently. DR LYDIA GRAY:
They work together and they’re complementary. There you go, yeah. SARAH: Just like us. I like to think so. I did want to talk about
one thing you said, in terms of that we
can’t talk about it or that we’re not
supposed to talk about it, and it’s something that I think
we don’t talk a lot about. DR LYDIA GRAY: We’re
not supposed to. SARAH: Because we’re
not supposed to, but there’s differences
between supplements and pharmaceuticals. Drugs that go through
rigorous testing. That’s why we’re not
allowed to say things that are disease or condition terms. Arthritis or inflammation
can only be treated by drugs. Supplements can help
support normal function. If those things are
a concern for you, it might be wise
to be supporting your horse with a supplement. Those are hard connections
for us to make. That’s why we avoid
those words and that’s why you don’t see SmartPak
ever saying, “cures arthritis.” There are companies out there
that say it, about supplements, and they shouldn’t. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right. SARAH: Kind of a rule
of thumb, I think, about when looking
at supplements is if it sounds too
good to be true– DR LYDIA GRAY:
Probably is, yeah. SARAH: –it might be. That’s– you can read all about
NASC guidelines on our web site. We’ll include a link to that. That’s the National
Animal Supplement Council. They help us
regulate the industry so that you guys can feel
confident when you’re shopping for supplements. That you know that you’re buying
from a trustworthy vendor. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah,
there’s the seal on it. Yeah. That was very well said. SARAH: Thank you. I could tell you were
a little bit nervous. We were getting into it. DR LYDIA GRAY: Nah,
complete confidence. Complete confidence. SARAH: It’s true. We could always edit it out. If it went horribly awry,
you guys wouldn’t even know. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right.

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