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University Claims Horse Arthritis Breakthrough

Friday, 1st July 2011

Sydney University researchers “have claimed a breakthrough in the treatment of osteoarthritis that could prolong the careers of most racehorses” reported racenet.com.au. Dr Toby Koenig (a surgery resident at Sydney University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital) said “a cocktail of proven & readily available drugs” had the capacity to “slow the rate of damage racehorses & other working horses sustained to their joints”. Dr Koenig noted: “Osteoarthritis is a major cause of wastage in athletic horses, with a significant economic impact on the equine industry. We found a new combination of 3 commonly used drugs – pentosan polysulphate, glucosamine & hyaluronic acid – could reduce the damage experienced during strenuous exercise. 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 & other competitive events.” Dr Koenig will present his findings from a clinical trial of 16 horses “in simulated race training” at a conference on the Gold Coast today.

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