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Evaluation of avocado and soybean unsaponifiable extracts for treatment of horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis

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  • 1 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Gail Holmes Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of a combination of avocado and soybean unsaponifiable (ASU) extracts for the treatment of experimentally induced osteoarthritis in horses.

Animals—16 horses.

Procedures—Osteoarthritis was induced via osteochondral fragmentation in 1 middle carpal joint of each horse; the other joint underwent a sham operation. Horses were randomly allocated to receive oral treatment with ASU extracts (1:2 [avocado-to-soybean] ratio mixed in 6 mL of molasses; n = 8) or molasses (6 mL) alone (placebo treatment; 8) once daily from days 0 to 70. Lameness, response to joint flexion, synovial effusion, gross and histologic joint assessments, and serum and synovial fluid biochemical data were compared between treatment groups to identify effects of treatment.

Results—Osteochondral fragmentation induced significant increases in various variables indicative of joint pain and disease. Treatment with ASU extracts did not have an effect on signs of pain or lameness; however, there was a significant reduction in severity of articular cartilage erosion and synovial hemorrhage (assessed grossly) and significant increase in articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan synthesis, compared with placebo-treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although treatment with ASU extracts did not decrease clinical signs of pain in horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis, there did appear to be a disease-modifying effect of treatment, compared with findings in placebotreated horses. These objective data support the use of ASU extracts as a disease-modifying treatment for management of osteoarthritis in horses.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of a combination of avocado and soybean unsaponifiable (ASU) extracts for the treatment of experimentally induced osteoarthritis in horses.

Animals—16 horses.

Procedures—Osteoarthritis was induced via osteochondral fragmentation in 1 middle carpal joint of each horse; the other joint underwent a sham operation. Horses were randomly allocated to receive oral treatment with ASU extracts (1:2 [avocado-to-soybean] ratio mixed in 6 mL of molasses; n = 8) or molasses (6 mL) alone (placebo treatment; 8) once daily from days 0 to 70. Lameness, response to joint flexion, synovial effusion, gross and histologic joint assessments, and serum and synovial fluid biochemical data were compared between treatment groups to identify effects of treatment.

Results—Osteochondral fragmentation induced significant increases in various variables indicative of joint pain and disease. Treatment with ASU extracts did not have an effect on signs of pain or lameness; however, there was a significant reduction in severity of articular cartilage erosion and synovial hemorrhage (assessed grossly) and significant increase in articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan synthesis, compared with placebo-treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although treatment with ASU extracts did not decrease clinical signs of pain in horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis, there did appear to be a disease-modifying effect of treatment, compared with findings in placebotreated horses. These objective data support the use of ASU extracts as a disease-modifying treatment for management of osteoarthritis in horses.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Vetoquinol USA/Evsco Pharmaceuticals, Buena, NJ.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kawcak.