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Larsson, Jennie, 2010. Örter som fodertillskott till häst : populärt komplement utan risker?. Second cycle, A1N, A1F or AXX ( AXX). Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health (until 231231)



In the Swedish market, there is a wide selection of herbs as supplement to the horse´s feed. A trend today is that many companies are marketing herbal remedies with allegations of medical effects. If you want to sell the product for that purpose it must be verified and approved as drug or natural remedy by the Medical Products Agency. Some herbs may contain active substances. Nevertheless, only a few studies have been conducted on single herbs to investigate safe doses for horses.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of herbal supplements in horses, which herbs that are used by the greatest extent, what horse owners want to achieve with the herb supplements and if they experience that they had the desired effect. In addition, this study also evaluated if the horse owner, veterinarians or the herbal supplier had observed any interaction, toxicity or adverse reactions caused by the herb supplements.

The study summarizes the survey responses from 86 respondents and interviews with five veterinarians as well as five herbal suppliers. The study showed that approximately 70 % of the respondents have used some type of feed supplement for their horse/horses, other than vitamins and minerals. The difference in the use of feed supplements differs significantly between Icelandic horses and ponies and between Icelandic horses and warm bloods. The Icelandic horses are to a less extent fed with feed supplements compared with ponies and warm bloods. This investigation also showed that herbs were the most common feed supplements used. Nearly 50 % of the respondents have fed their horses with herb supplements. Almost 75 % of the respondents which have used herbal remedies as supplement for their horse/horses have used garlic, which makes garlic the most popular herb in this study. 40 % of the respondents who have provided some type of herbal remedies are unsure whether the herb supplement had any effect and an almost equal proportion indicate that it has had a positive effect. Since more than 75 % of the respondents which have been given some type of herbal preparation indicate that the purpose of use is to prevent disease, one can question how the positive effect can be seen. The experienced positive effect should be that the horse remains healthy, as it could have been without the use of herbal remedies.

Nearly 20 % of the respondents who have used herbal feed supplements, indicates that they have used it while their horse/horses have been treated with conventional drugs. The majority of herbal suppliers indicate that the consultation before use of herbal preparation always raises the question if the horse at the same time will be treated with drugs, which if the occasion should arise, would be advised against the majority. However, the questionnaire study shows that the majority of sales of herbal remedies are made without prior consultation between horse owners and herbal suppliers. Approximately 40 % of the respondents which have used an herbal preparation at the same time as an ongoing medical treatment have informed the veterinarian about the combined treatment. All the veterinarians that were interviewed experience an anxiety about the possibility of interactions between herbs and drugs. They all explain that in certain symptoms or for specific treatments, the question if the horse is given some type of feed supplement will arise. However, there are no common symptoms or treatments given by the different veterinarians.

Adverse effects in terms of interactions, toxicity and side effects have been noted by owners, veterinarians and herbal suppliers in this investigation. Furthermore, there are no studies to prove safe and appropriate doses for the horse, which means that the risks of use cannot be excluded.

Main title:Örter som fodertillskott till häst
Subtitle:populärt komplement utan risker?
Authors:Larsson, Jennie
Series:Examensarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Fakulteten för veterinärmedicin och husdjursvetenskap, Veterinärprogrammet
Volume/Sequential designation:2010:2
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1N, A1F or AXX
Student's programme affiliation:3050A Veterinary Medicine Programme (admitted before July 1, 2007) 330 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Public Health (until 231231)
Keywords:örter, häst, fodertillskott, enkätstudie
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Deposited On:28 Jan 2010 09:23
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:10

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