Biolane GLME as a solution for horses with chronic fetlock lameness attributed to osteoarthritis


This clinical study was a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study on the efficacy of a unique extract of green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) in horses with chronic fetlock lameness attributed to osteoarthritis.

Oosteoarthritis and Joint disease Background

Minor injuries can be a leading cause of lameness, leading to osteoarthritis (OA) in many horses worldwide. This means that joint cartilage is damaged and lost, resulting in the horse noticeably slowing down and have a decreased quality of life.

Aim and Design of Study

This randomised, double-blinded and placebo controlled clinical trial aimed to investigate efficacy of Biolane GLME in treating the clinical signs and symptoms of OA in horses.

26 horses participated in a multi-centre partial cross-over design with washout period. Only horses with fetlock lameness attributable to OA were included, which was confirmed by veterinary lameness examination, radiographically & by resolution after intra-articular anaesthesia. The lameness present for at least 3 months in all horses.

Exclusion criteria
Any horses who had undergone prior treatments were excluded from this study, as well as horses with infectious osteoarthritis, fractures, severe OA or concurrent diseases, and pregnant horses.

Progression of horses through the study

Methods of Study

The horses were treated with either Biolane or a physically identical Placebo for 56 days.

The dosage was 25mg/kg body weight, which was added to their supplementary food diet.

The washout for horses in cross-over averaged 133 for the Biolane group and 80 days for the placebo group. The horses still grazed at pasture and there was no change to exercise regime throughout the study.

Assessments of the signs of OA performed at the start and end of each study period for all horses. This was done by assessing the swelling and pain of the horse.

A veterinary lameness examination was carried out using an AAEP 6 point scale 0-5. A passive flexion test (5 point scale) was also utilised. Blinding of veterinary investigators and owners maintained throughout study.

The Biolane and Placebo groups were balanced in terms of severity of lameness and demographics.

Statistical Analysis

  • For individual outcome measures – ordinal logistics models were fitted to all observations using WinBUGS ver 14
  • For the composite measure – a hierarchical generalised linear model analysis with a Bernoulli distribution was undertaken using Genstat Ver11

Results of lameness scores

The improvement in lameness scores of the Biolane group was significantly greater than those of the placebo group ( P<0.001).

Results of Flexion

The improvement in flexion scores in horses given Biolane was significantly greater than in those horses given the placebo ( P<0.001)

Results of Pain Reduction

There was a significantly greater reduction in pain for horses treated with Biolane than the placebo (P=0.014)

Overall Results

Using the composite measure incorporating lameness, swelling, heat and pain variables (Koene 2010), the Biolane group demonstrated a significantly greater improvement when compared to the Placebo group ( P=0.019)


• Biolane LPPC at a dosage of 25mg/kg significantly improves the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis in horses
• Palatable and well tolerated
• Efficacious natural supplement suitable for long term use

This study was funded by Vitaco through a grant from The Foundation for Research Science and Technology in 2009.

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