The line between work and play is rather blurry for Dr. Ashlee Watts. As an equine orthopedic surgeon, researcher and instructor at Texas A&M University, Dr. Watts is all horse, all the time. When she’s “off-the-clock”, Dr. Watts swaps out the stethoscope for a stock tie and competes nationally in dressage. So it’s no surprise as both an equine orthopedic practitioner and competitive equestrian, Dr. Watts focuses much of her research on issues commonly associated with equine athletes.
Issues like treating joint lameness, the focus of her latest clinical trial recently published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The study was a randomized, controlled trial of the effects of the anti-inflammatory antioxidant Resveratrol in treating lameness localized to the hocks in performance horses. Ultimately, the trial concluded that the administered supplement containing resveratrol, Equithrive, is an effective therapy for treating hock lameness.
“This was a two-year research project and it is very exciting to me because blinded, randomized and controlled clinical trials are not commonly performed in equine veterinary medicine,” Dr. Watts said, adding she now uses the product on her own horses.
The study has generated quite a buzz in the horse health world, and Dr. Watts will present her research at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention (AAEP) in Orlando on Tuesday.
Resveratrol is a compound found in numerous plants, most notably red grape skins, which is why red wine has been proven to have numerous health benefits. While resveratrol supplements for humans have been on the market for years, Dr. Pat Lawless has pioneered its use in equines with the development of Equithrive.
“Equithrive Joint has actually been on the market since 2009. From product launch to the present, our company has remained focused on scientifically validating the effectiveness of the product in supporting equine joint health,” Dr. Lawless noted. “The product has now been proven to reduce lameness, inflammation and oxidative stress in performance horses in independent university studies. As a company, we think it is important to back up marketing claims with the relevant scientific data rather than simply putting together a formula and marketing it as effective without scientific proof.”