The aim of the study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of specific bioactive collagen peptides (BCP), here administered orally as PETAGILE® , on horses with mild to moderate, naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Data from a two-centred pilot study were used for the meta-analysis. Thirty-eight privately owned horses of various breeds were available. In one centre, 18 of these patients (6 ± 3 years; 519 ± 100 kg BW) received either 25 g (n = 6) or 50 g (n = 12) BCP/day orally for 12 weeks. In the second centre, 20 horses (18 ± 4 years; 413 ± 94 kg BW) received either a placebo (control; n = 10) or 25 g BCP/day. The attending veterinarians performed an orthopaedic examination including flexion tests and evaluated the degree of lameness, rotation pain, step length and arc of foot flight during trot (8 parameters) at the beginning and after 6 and 12 weeks. The horse owners answered a weekly questionnaire about their perception of lameness, mobility and the horses' willingness to run. In the 50 g BCP group, in six of eight parameters, a strong effect (Cohen's r > .5) was detected with two parameters (lameness and flexion pain) significantly improved already after 6 weeks. In the 25 g BCP group, a moderate effect (Cohen's r = .3-0.5) was seen in six parameters, with three parameters improved already after 6 weeks.
The owners reported a strong effect for mobility and willingness to run (Cohen's r = .69 and .62, respectively) and a moderate effect (Cohen's r = .49 and 0.41) for the development of lameness in the 50 g and 25 g BCP group in comparison with the placebo treatment.
This study revealed promising effects of the safe oral-specific BCP supplementation on symptoms of osteoarthritis in horses already after 3 months. The higher dosage of 50 g BCP/day had superior impact. Further long-term investigations on specific BCP efficacy in horses with osteoarthritis, preferably in blinded and placebo-controlled studies, should be performed to confirm these first positive results.
KEYWORDS: collagen peptides; horses; osteoarthritis; supplement