The use of nutritional supplements for joint problems has received much attention in recent years. At this sight, Ovopet®, an innovative ingredient from eggshell membrane that ensures the supply of nutrients necessary for the repair of joints together with anti-inflammatory compounds of natural origin, appears as a natural alternative supplementation for the treatment of joint problems in horses. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of oral supplementation with Ovopet® (eggshell membrane) in trotting horses with mild joint disease during the competing period to assess changes in some locomotor and physiological markers. Twenty French trotters positively identified as irregular or slightly lame were recruited and randomly assigned to either placebo or treatment group. The evaluations were done at days 0 and day 60 after the beginning of the treatment. The lameness, measured by the Equinosis® Q with Lameness Locator® was improved at low and medium speed in the horses intaking Ovopet® while it was kept stable or worsened in the placebo group. The improvement in lameness could be related to a decline in pain in the treated group. Similarly, the minimum, mean and maximum heart rate were lower at day 60 compared to day 0 in Ovopet® group. The heart rate variability whereas, was higher in Ovopet® compared to placebo. Lower heart rate variability is associated with increased pain. At the sight of the present results, Ovopet® appears as an alternative treatment to decline inflammation, pain and to improve the lameness of competing horses.
Key words: Eggshell membrane, inflammation, lameness, ovopet®, trotter.
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