The effects of Rooster Comb Extract on osteoarthritis pain in dogs.
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Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a slow, progressive degenerative disease which affects 20% of the canine population over the age of one year. Currently, there is no treatment to prevent, delay or reverse this disease and NSAIDs are being used as the gold standard therapy. Due to side-effects this therapy is not suitable for all patients and that is why there is a need for alternative therapies. One of these alternative therapies can be the use of Rooster Comb Extract (RCE). This extract results from a production process involving enzymatic hydrolysis of rooster combs, filtration, concentration and precipitation steps. The glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphate A and dermatan sulphate are the principle constituents of RCE. It has been claimed that these ingredients can support dogs with OA pain. Objective: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the clinical effect, registered by a survey, of a novel nutraceutical for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. This nutraceutical consisted out of RCE, glucosamine, chondroitin, methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM), a proprietary protein mixture and is completed with vitamins and minerals. Study design: Randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Methods: By using the Helsinki Chronic Pain Index the effect of this novel nutraceutical is measured in a period of 6 weeks in 14 dogs suffering from OA. The results were compared to 14 placebo-controlled dogs suffering from OA. Results: The dogs showed an improved in their HCPI score after the supplementation of the novel nutraceutical. The mean of the supplement group improved from 19.8 (± 7.00) to 13.8 (± 6.50), in the placebo group the mean went from 16.2 (± 4.92) to 15.6 (± 7.00). The results of the repeated measurement ANOVA over time had a p-value of 0.061 (p-value>0.05). The same type ANOVA showed between the groups a p-value of 0.255 (p-value>0.05) and overall a p-value of 0.121 (p-value>0.05). Conclusion: In this study there was not a significant result found, but according to the owners, the dogs did improve clinically. For a following study a bigger sample size, the use of subobjective and objective parameters are strongly recommended to further investigate the effects of RCE on OA pain in dogs.