Treatment for horses suffering from arthrosis, chronic pain and/or chronic inflammations with the body own and natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent palmitoylethanolamide

Horses often suffer from chronic pain states related to running, jumping or another movement- related disorders. Mostly either analgesics or supplements are administered. The analgesics have a clear drawback, namely various side effects, and most of the supplements are not scientifically well established as effective treatments. Especially the use of corticosteroids and analgesics give rise to side effects in horses which can compromise their functions and quality of life.

The body own analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent palmitoylethanolamide can be successfully applied to horses and horses suffering chronic pain and/ or inflammation. Many studies in various animals have proven the efficacy and safety of palmitoylethanolamide. The compound also has relevant efficacy in horses, as we will demonstrate in the following cases.

Racehorse suffering from scar and keloid, limping and immobile

An 8-year-old thoroughbred male chestnut racehorse had a large keloid, a kind of chronic inflammation, soft to the touch, in the palmar region of the metacarpal of the lower left-hand limb in a proximal position on the profound flexor tendon.

The horse had undergone an operation on the above-mentioned tendon 6 months previously for a serious traumatic lesion of the sheath. The animal had a pronounced limp and was practically immobilized.

Treatment for 30 days administration of 2 gram each day of palmitoylethanolamide. This brought about a regression of the keloid by between 90 and 95%.  The animal was able to recommence competitive activity.

Racehorse with tendon pathology

A 3-year-old female bay racehorse had a spheroidal formation the size of a lemon, of soft connective tissue in the latero-palmar region of the metacarpal of the left-hand front limb. The keloidal formation was connected to the profound flexor tendon. The tendon had been burnt about four months previously.

After treatment for 30 days with 2 gram each day of palmitoylethanolamide, the formation regressed completely and the functionality of the tendon was completely restored.

Racehorse with chronic flexor tendinitis

A 5-year-old male bay racehorse had signs of recurrent, chronic tendon inflammation on the right-hand front profound flexor. Two years previously, the subject had undergone an operation, tendonectomy, for a lesion of the sheath, from which it had never fully recovered.

After treatment for 30 days with administration of 2 gram each day of palmitoylethanolamide, the tendon pathology was clearly reduced.

After a further 30 days with the same treatment regimen, the subject was completely cured with considerable benefit to its competitive performance.

Racehorse suffering from acute tendinitis

A 2-year-old thoroughbred male bay racehorse had acute inflammation of its tendon, a tendinitis of the right-hand front profound flexor. As a result of an operation performed for the reduction of tendonous oedema, the animal developed a considerable fibrotic reaction with the production of adhesions.

5 months after the operation, treatment was started with 2 gram each day of palmitoylethanolamide. After 30 days a considerable improvement was noted and the treatment was continued for a further 60 days.

After treatment for 90 days, the tendon pathology was perfectly cured and the adhesions previously found had completely regressed. The animal returned to competitive activity.

Palmitoylethanolamide for horses

It is clear from these results described above, that palmitoylethanolamide can advantageously be used in the treatment of chronic inflammation and in chronic painstates in horses, such as tendonous pathology in horses, both when these conditions are acute and when they are chronic.

In the last horse described animal, the treatment with palmitoylethanolamide clearly was the only effective cure for tendonous pathology, which enabled the horse to return to competitive activity.

The treatment of animals with palmitoylethanolamide, results comparable to treatments with cortisones, with the substantial advantage that it does not have the serious side effects typical of these corticosteroids.

Palmitoylethanolamide: dose recommendations for the treatment of horses

The recommended dose based on a number of trials in animals is 10-30 mg for each kg bodyweight. For the sake of simplicity, a step in dose is 2-3 gram each day, in two gifts of 1-1.5 gram each day.

For pain relief and for inhibiting inflammation, most patients choose:

  • PEA capsules produced in the Netherlands by Russell
  • PEA tablets produced in Italy by Epitech