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Gunnarsson, Ellica, 2019. Utvärdering av Equanimity som lugnande medel. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry

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Abstract

Before the horse was domesticated, they survived because they had natural instincts, and many of them are still presents in horse today, in some more than others. In everyday situations we sometime want a horse not to act natural but in a more calm and collective rational way. A horse often reacts with some sort of flight before asking if it really was dangerous. In transport, shoeing the horse, at the vet, riding and grooming we most often want them to react in the opposite way of what comes naturally when they are nervous. What if we can make them more inclined to react as we want in these situations instead of what is natural to them, this is the core of this study I have conducted. These nervous behaviours in stressful situations can potentially be dangerous to horses, riders and grooms around them. Therefore, we want to have a way to calm the horse down before it comes to this dangerous point.

A mare is naturally producing a sedative in its milk that is calming for the foal. This agent is a pheromone that company Ceva is producing a chemical copy of and it´s called Equanimity. Ceva want to put this agent in to a gel that riders and grooms can use on the horses before the stressful situation occurs so that the horse is calmer in the situation. Ceva contacted Flyinge and asked them to do a study on the gel Equanimity to see if it had a significant calming effect on horses. Ceva’s goal is to see if there is a decrease in the nervous behaviour in stressed situations when using Equanimity, so that they can market Equanimity as a gel with a calming effect on horse in stressful situations.

The course of action is that the gel with the agent Equanimity is applied in the nostrils of the horse before the nervous behaviour in the stressful situation occurs. The fragrance pheromone is absorbed by the underlying blood vessels and effect of the preparation occurs shortly, according to research conducted by Ceva. A crossover-study was performed where the horses got the gel with and without the active agent pheromone. The riders and grooms did not know when the horse got placebo so they evaluated what happened and not what they expected to happen.

The null hypothesis was that Equanimity does not give any calming effect. Hypothesis testing was performed with t-test and paired tests where Equanimity was investigated against a placebo preparation. The horses made three paired tests in the cross-over study. In this study, eight horses were used that had shown strong reactions in stressful situations. The horses selected showed stressed behaviour during shoeing, outdoor riding, riding in riding hall, loading or when released in a fenced-in area. The evaluation of stressed behaviours was done by the evaluators with a mark on a Visual Analog Scale. The evaluators experienced a decrease of 22% of stressed behaviours when using Equanimity. To investigate the significance value, a T-test was made. The study showed that the active substance Equanimity had a positive effect on the horse's nervous behaviour.

The conclusion was that some horses showed significant less stress when the active gel was applied. The effect of the active gel seems to be stronger in younger horse showed better results than older horse. To study younger and older horses and how they respond to the pheromone will make an interesting study in the future.

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Vid all hantering av hästar uppstår det vardagliga situationer som inte är naturliga för hästarna. Det kan till exempel vara vid inridning, transportering eller skoning av hästen. Dagens sporthästar är hårt avlade till stor del på exteriör samt prestation. Sporthästarna har en tendens att vara mer nervösa och känsliga för yttre påverkan än hästar som är avlade för hobbyverksamhet. Situationerna för de hästarna kan då bli mer svårhanterliga eller rent av farliga. Dessa beteenden ger problem för ryttare och skötare i den vardagliga hanteringen.

Hästen har ett eget lugnande medel i modersmjölken. Medlet är ett feromon som stoet utsöndrar när fölet diar för att lugna fölet. Företaget Ceva använder en kemisk kopia på feromonet till hjälp för att tillverka ett syntetiskt lugnande medel. Ceva har tagit fram en gel som heter Equanimity. Ceva kontaktade Flyinge och önskade få utfört en studie på Equanimity. Ceva ville se om det blev en minskning av det nervösa beteendet i stressade situationer vid användning av Equanimity. Equanimity är en gel som appliceras i näsborrarna på hästen. Doftferomonet tas upp av de underliggande blodkärlen och preparatets effekt uppstår inom kort, detta enligt forskning som Ceva själva har genomfört.

En hypotesprövning med nollhypotesen att Equanimity inte ger någon effekt. Hypotesprövningen utfördes med t-test och parade tester där Equanimity undersöktes mot ett preparat som var helt overksamt (placebo). Hästarna genomförde tre parade tester i en cross-over studie. I denna studien användes åtta hästar som hade väl invanda beteenden i stressade situationer. Hästarna som valdes ut visade stressade beteenden vid skoning, uteritt, ridning i ridhus, lastning eller hage utsläpp. Utvärderingen av de stressade beteenden gjordes av utvärderarna med en markering på en VAS-skala.

Utvärderarna upplevde en minskning på 22 % av de stressade beteendena vid användning av Equanimity. För att undersöka signifikantsvärdet gjordes det ett t-test. Resultatet från T-testet visade att Equanimity hade en lugnande inverkan på det stressade beteendet. Vidare sågs det att Equanimitys lugnande effekt påverkades av åldern på hästen, det visades att de äldre påverkades mindre än de yngre. De äldre hästarna uppvisade en minskning på 10%. Den yngre gruppen som är 10 år eller yngre hade en minskning på 33%.
Studien visade att den aktiva substansen Equanimity har en positiv påverkan på hästens nervösa beteende.

Main title:Utvärdering av Equanimity som lugnande medel
Authors:Gunnarsson, Ellica
Supervisor:Michanek, Per
Examiner:Viklund, Åsa
Series:Examensarbete på kandidatnivå / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Hippologenheten
Volume/Sequential designation:K96
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK004 Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry
Keywords:häst, feromon, stress, beteende
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-10454
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-10454
Subjects:Animal ecology
Veterinary science and hygiene - General aspects
Language:Swedish
Deposited On:15 May 2019 08:02
Metadata Last Modified:29 May 2020 12:28

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