Soon we will be able to detect incipient arthritis before the horse shows symptoms!
A biomarker that can help us diagnose incipient joint inflammation at an early stage and a drug that can help the joint heal inflamed cartilage cells. This is the amazing result of years of research by Professor Eva Skiöldebrand and the team around her.
There is currently no disease-modifying drug for osteoarthritis. A horse that has developed the disease has a more or less straight and painful path to a full-blown chronic disease with a lot of joint pain. Osteoarthritis, or osteoarthritis as it is also known, is the most common cause of lameness in horses. More than 3500 horses a year are put down because of the severe symptoms of the disease, and that's just in Sweden.
Osteoarthritis/arthrosis is a low-grade inflammation of the joints, which is what makes the disease so tricky. It can take a long time for the horse to show symptoms, by which time the inflammation has already taken hold.
Eva's research team has succeeded in finding biomarkers that can signal the onset of inflammation long before any symptoms can be seen. This, in turn, leads to the prevention and prevention of the inflammation developing into the chronic arthritic disease. In other words, thanks to Eva, we are well on our way to reducing the horrific number of horses suffering from and being euthanized due to osteoarthritis!
The most common cause of arthritis is overexertion, for example, when young horses are trained too hard and run at too high a speed," says Eva Skiöldebrand.
At Healthy Joints, we recommend daily administration of preventive joint supplements from the time the horse starts riding or driving to prevent the onset of joint inflammation.
Not only have they found a biomarker, but the research team has also managed to define what causes the cartilage cells to be broken down by the inflammation. From this, they have been able to develop a drug that looks like it could heal the damaged cartilage.
The use of the biomarker and the drug is now not far away. It is hoped and believed that they will be on the market within a few years.
As the name suggests, Healthy Leaders' activities are based on preventive work for long-term sustainable horses. We are extremely happy and proud of Eva's achievement and look forward to having new tools to prevent the onset of this painful disease in the near future.
In the December issue of Svensk Veterinärtidning an article was written about the breakthrough. You can read the full article here.