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Dobenecker, Britta; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Jahn, Werner; Schunck, Michael; Hugenberg, Jutta; Oesser, Steffen (September 2016): Bioactive collagen peptides as supplement for horses with osteoarthritis. 20th Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ESVCN) 2016, 15.-17. September 2016, Berlin.


Introduction: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterised by progressive destruction of cartilage and bone with a high prevalence in horses. It causes pain, lameness and functional disability and is therefore economically important. Existing treatment options are limited and often based on pain reduction. Research on Bioactive Collagen Peptides® (BCP) demonstrated its stimulating effect on cartilage tissue in pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo studies, the latter ones done in a validated OA animal model on Str/ort-mice. The aim of this pilot study was to test if oral BCP supplementation has the potency to mend OA in horses. Animals, materials and methods: 38 privately owned horses with mild to moderate OA were available for the two-centred study. In one centre 18 of these patients (6±3 years old; 519±100kg BW) received either 25g (n=6) or 50g (n=12) BCP#/day orally for 12 weeks. In the second centre 20 horses (18±4; 413±94kg BW) received either a placebo (Con; maltodextrine; n=10) or 25g BCP/day. The attending veterinarian performed an orthopaedic examination, a flexion test and evaluated the degree of lameness, rotation pain, step length and arc of flight during trot (8 parameters) at the beginning and after 6 and 12 weeks of the trial. The owners answered a weekly questionnaire about their perception of lameness, mobility and the horses’ willingness to move. Statistical significance of the differences between the 3 groups (25g, 50g, Con) were tested calculating the effect size (Cohen r) for the evaluation of veterinarians and owners as well as the p values (Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney-U-test). Results: Data of all 38 horses from both centres were evaluated together. As expected, no adverse effects have been observed. In the 50g group in 6/8 parameters a strong effect (Cohen r>0.5) was detected between beginning and end of the trial, with 2 parameters (lameness, flexion pain) significantly improved already after 6 weeks. In the 25g group a moderate effect (Cohen r=0.3-0.5) was seen in 6 parameters, with 3 parameters improved already after 6 weeks. The evaluation of the owners’ answers revealed a strong effect for the factors mobility and willingness to move (Cohen r 0.69 and 0.62, respectively) and a moderate effect (Cohen r=0.49) for the development of lameness in the 50g group when compared to the placebo treatment (group Con). The 25g dosage showed a moderate improvement (r=0.41) of the lameness. All these differences in the BCP groups were of statistically significance when compared with the placebo treatment demonstrated by the Mann-Whitney-U-test. Discussion: This study revealed promising effects of the safe oral BCP supplementation on symptoms of OA in horses already after the relatively short period of 3 months. The higher dosage of 50g/day had superior impact on the skeletal health of the osteoarthritic horses. Further long-term investigations on BCP efficacy in horses with OA, preferably in blinded and placebo controlled studies, are needed. #Petagile® GELITA AG, Germany