Silly or Sensible? Cortaflex question...

LauraBR

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Having seen how much of a difference Cortaflex made to my first horse I vowed to put any horse I had on it from the age of ten...

Now own 10 yo. He's sound but I do want to put him on it... obviously it is not cheap and maybe a lot to spend on a problem that isn't there but.... still think it is worth it?

Or am I being stupid and throwing money down the drain?
 

rach1984horse

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If you email/write to cortaflex asking about the benefits etc of using it, they will send you a one week's free sample. Maybe try that and use it for a week, then if it makes a difference and you feel it's worth it then go for it, if not you've not spent anything.

If you want to try for two weeks then getting a parent, friend etc to also write about their horse may well get them a free sample to.
 

LauraBR

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Thanks HG, but the thing is, I wouldn't really see a difference in a week I don't think? And I don't have enough friends to keep me in free Cortaflex forever sadly


I guess I'm wondering whether Cortaflex is in fact worth the money as a long term precautionary measure?
 

Marnie

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My mare is 9 and went on to Glucosamine (Newmarket Joint Supplement) after a bout of lameness which was never fully explained about 2 1/2 years ago. I have kept her on it 'just in case' and have not had any problems since...... touch wood! I discussed with my vet and we decided it was worth it - I think it costs me around £80 a tub which lasts about 3 months on maintenance dose.
 

_jetset_

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Han went on Cortaflex when she was 7 as I though better to prevent than try to cure! She has been on it now for three years and although I haven't noticed any improvements I also haven't noticed any problems with her joints either!
 

Prudence

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I have some left over from the old hunter - if you cover the cost of postage, you're welcome to it....... It's not a lot mind.....
 

RachelB

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My horse gets very stiff legs, she's naturally very short-striding but loosens up with work, I would have her on Cortaflex but can't afford it so I have her on apple cider vinegar instead. Makes me feel better, plus she likes the taste and I like smelling it before I put it into her feed!

If it's preventative and you're unsure, why not try a cheaper joint supp?
 

Happy Horse

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I firmly believe if it ain't broke don't fix it! Do you take Cortaflex yourself as a precaution or would you consider it if you got a bit stiff?
 

puddicat

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I think you're being stupid and throwing money down the drain. Even if the product did have some beneficial healing effect, which is unproven, it would not imply it might have a preventative effect, which is also unproven.

Comments such as "my horse has been on it for 3 years and I've never had a problem" are equivalent to my assertion that I've been spraying elephant repellant around the yard for years and we've never been bothered by a single elephant. The reasoning error is the same in both cases and arises if you infer incorrectly that the elephant repellant or the cortaflex works based on this evidence.
 

barkinghorse

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I disagree with puddicat, I believe prevention is better than cure.
If you can afford to put him on it do so from six months maybe and see how it goes.
My 6yr old exracer had clicky joints and after 6 mths on Cortaflex they no longer click.
AND i take human cortaflex and it's improved my joints no end so i'm all for it.
Jo xx
 

puddicat

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I disagree with puddicat, I believe prevention is better than cure.

Huh? So do I!! Never suggested it wasn't - the point I made was to do with incorrect interpretation of data.

Similarly you are totally incorrect in assuming that cortaflex had anything whatsoever to do with your clicky joint disappearing because you can't rule out the possibility that it would have happened for another reason. If we went into the detail of what casues clicky joints and what might cause the problem to resolve it would become increasingly unbelievable that the product could have any such effect. The fact is, *things* *happen* *anyway*. If someone has told you that feeding your horse some random quack product will cure joint diseases and at any time after you've been inflicting the stuff on the poor animal the condition improves, it is human nature to assume the product caused the improvement. This assumption is totally incorrect and your individual experience provides no insight whatsoever as to whether the product works or not. This is just very basic science and if I could think of a way of explaining it so it would be immediately recognised and appreciated by horse owners I suspect an awful lot of quack product manufacturers would go bankrupt rather quickly.
 

PapaFrita

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Can you buy it more cheaply on the internet? Or find a product with the same ingredients that isn't quite so pricey? I'm feeding cider vinegar to PF hoping that it will help prevent joint problems in the future (I have no idea if any scientific research supports claims that it's great for joints, but I have anecdotal evidence from other HHOers that it has helped their horses) and it's cheap! Do you think you could try that for a while?
 

puddicat

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It is also your presumption that it Doesn't work!!

Yes absolutely right, that’s how science works – unless there is ‘evidence’ (and that word has a particular meaning) to show something works one assumes it doesn’t. It is equivalent to presuming innocence until guilt is proved in the legal system. In both cases the approach prevents errors of judgement that are undesirable, in law it is the conviction of an innocent person, in science it is believing something does something when it doesn’t.

Quack product or not, after using it, it is my opinion that it may have helped!

Sure you and many people believe this, everyone is entitled to an opinion I was simply pointing out that it has no value in the sense it bears no relation to whether the product works or not. This is an alien concept to most people as they are used to trusting their own judgement, however judgements in situations that involve randomness have to be made in a special way (called science).
Most people can see that it is not possible to predict the winning numbers in the lottery or whether a coin will land heads or tails but cannot see that it is not possible to predict whether a product works based on their experience of it (there are special exceptions). The situations are equivalent.

I never said it CURED mine or my horses joints.

I agree, you just implied it rather strongly!

I also wouldn't dream or calling another forum user STUPID for wanting to try something on her horse that may or may not work, when her question was "Silly or Sensible"

Me neither, I was quoting the last line of the original post verbatim!
 

Doublethyme

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Well I love wasting money (hehe) and do have my mare on Coraflex as a prevenatitive. She was kicked several times very badly on her hocks as a four year old to the point where she actually has dents in her hocks! She recovered fine to full 100% soundness, but figured that it was better to do try preventative measures (ie Cortaflex) at the time than to wait till it hits me in the face further down the line. 7 years on and she is still sound as a pound - was it the joint supplement or was it just luck - who knows, I wasn't prepared to take the chance, but do understand people who think it is a waste of money. Personal choice and all that.

It doesn't actually work out that much anyway, I pay £45 for 4 months supply.

Plus it was my understanding (which agreed is limited on this subject!) that glucoasmine supplements like Cortaflex are actually better as a prevenatitive than actually when there is a problem - surely by the time the problem is on the surface so to speak and noticeable, the damage is already quite advanced.
 

Sarah_Jane

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I have both my horses on it as a preventitive measure I don't think £55 for 4 months supply is too bad.

I am finding that there is more and more positive research on Glucosamine type supplements and their positive effects. Even my small animal vet has put my stiff dog on a similiar supplement with positive results and I know mum found it made a huge difference with her arthritic knee.

Basically you pays your money and takes your choice, I have seen enough research and spoken to enough vets to be satisfied I am not totally wasting my money.
 

rach1984horse

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I got a thing from the company that make feel good 30 suppliments with my free pink stirrer comparing cortaflex to their version. Cortaflex has a lot more ingredients in it and costs 2p a day more. They way I work is out is that it costs me £57.99 for 120 days supply. That's 3 months supply. So it's roughly £19 a month. Most suppliments you would pay about £12-15 a month for anyway, so I'm happy paying a couple of extra pounds each month knowing that my mare is happy on cortaflex. My mare is 18 and has mild arthritis, having her on it helps to keep her moving.
 

Honeyb060674

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NAF do a 5* superflex that I have recently put my 28yo arthritic mare on...and I can honestly say shes loads better! A friend of mine spotted her fly bucking across the field chasing a 3yo filly, thats something she hasn't done for years. Its about £45 for 120 days supply
 

monstermunch

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If you really do want your horse on a joint supplememnt it is worth shopping around. The most expensive one isn't neccessarily better. To make it simple, read the product label. Those which supply the higher daily dose are the better product. Those that don't disclose a daily dose are usually shockingly low doses in which case you would be throwing money away. As far as I have been told chondroitin costs a lot more than the other two compounds-MSM and glucosamine.So any product with this in is likely to cost more. If price is an issue the product my friend uses is glucosamine and MSM combined high strength and only costs £26 for 6 weeks supply so you can get cheaper.
If your products dose is low then yes you are wasting your money. Otherwise I personally think that it is worth a horse taking it long term if they are in high end competition or already suffer with joint problems.
 
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I believe that prevention is better than cure,what preventative 'things' you use is another question,i have no personal experience of cortaflex,it may be a waste of money or it may not to put your horse on it. Its up to you and your finances i say,if i had spare money i would want to get seren the best i could,and give her 'things' to keep her in the best health,i just give her cod liver oil at present and she does have a need for it being 16 and a bit clickey.
Anyhoo to answer your original question,as am straying,i dont honestly know,maybe have a look around at cheaper preventative joint supplements instead, as mostermunch suggests,thats what i would do
 

rforsyth1984

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There is some suggestion that glucosamine/chondroitin sulphate supplements are effective in improving movement in horses that are not diagnosed with joint disease, and have been suggested as a possible preventative measure (though this has not been tested yet!).
The above has just been presented at ICEEP and the paper published in the EVJ supplement/conference proceedings.
 

rforsyth1984

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Oh and that research was done on Synequin, which is similar to cosequin, but not comparible to cortaflex. Synequin has a high dose of high purity Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate, which co-incidentally work best when used in combination.
 

guisbrogal

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Can't really comment on whether you should or not but if you can afford to then why not.

I buy it for a friend of mine from America and it costs just under £30 including the P&P. The same size here is around £50 - £55


If you want the address then just PM me for the details.
 

LauraBR

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Thanks for all the opinions- didn't expect the thread to generate so much controversy lol!

Still undecided lol... my vet is coming out next week for jabs so might get his view too...

Don't mind spending the money, provided it is doing good and not a complete waste.
 

Iestyn

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I use a supplement called Joint FX. Have only just started using it so no notable results yet but someone said to me that there's no point feeding a horse such supplement when the damage is done (wear and tear or injury). They are far better off ebing on them from a younger age so that they can help sustain the natural stuff produced by horses for their joints. So from what I've understood - feed it if you can afford to as it will help prolong a horse's working life in some cases - person in question is feeding it to a 5 yr old and knows what she's talking about so I have a lot of faith in what she says.
 

puddicat

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I should probably clarify, emphasise whatever that my scpeticism earlier in this thread was directed at the efficacy of Cortaflex and not the efficacy of Chondroitin Sulplate (CS) or Glucosamine compounds (G) . There have been enough studies on these two chemicals both used in isolation and in combination to persuade most scientists that they have 'a positive effect on cartilage metabolism'. That last bit is deliberately vague to avoid a long post but I'll describe what they appear to do in more detail if anyone is interested.

Here's the problems though - there is an issue of oral administration, basically if given by mouth, willthe active ingredients reaches the joint. Its perfectly understandable that people imagine that if you give a chemical by mouth it will find its way to where you want it to go unmodified but in fact that's far two simplistic. There are two problems with the idea of feeding G and CS and it going straight to the joint. First is to do with absorbtion of G and CS (by that I mean the amount that is transferred across the gut wall to the blood), there is evidence (when I say that I always mean published experimental scientific research study/ies) that the absorbtion of G and CS is low in horses. Second, both molecules get 'hijacked' by other biological processes because they have other potential uses apart from the one you want them to have. So like many other drugs, there is the possibility that wheras G and CS are themselves effective agents in joint disease, they may be ineffective when administered orally.

The good news is that evidence is mounting to say this might not be the case in horses although it should be obvious that it also means dosage is important. Again to cut to the conclusion in the interests of keeping the post reasonably short, the best advice that one can give is (1) use a product where the amount of G and CS is stated and is guaranteed. (2) use an amount and preferbly the same product that has been used in research studies of efficacy in horses that have had a positive outcome. NOW look at the cortaflex website, then have a look at the website for Cosequin and note the difference in the amount information that is given about the composition! The best and appropriate way to obtain a dosage for a product given you know it's composition is to ask your vet.

PS there was an interesting study I read a while ago which analysed the composition of comonly available joint supplement claiming to contain G and CS. From what I remember they all (?) contained well below the amount that has been shown necessary to have a clinical effect. The moral of the story is DON'T BUY A JOINT SUPPLEMENT THAT CLAIMS TO CONTAIN G or CS or anything else for that matter UNLESS THE AMOUNT CONTAINED IN THE PRODUCT IS STATED CLEARLY ON THE LABEL. And even that isn't enough without a guarantee of guality! Also, in case you're thinking half the amount has half the effect - this isn't necessarily true, for some chemicals and G and CS could very likely fall into this category, there is a threshold effect - if you fall below a certain concentration, they don't do anything!
 

monstermunch

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Thanks for clarifying your position on this puddicat. I too have a similar opinion to you. Yes I believe that there is a substantial amount of literature that does back the compounds themselves and I think that many positive benefits can be reaped. Like you said though, this does not make any product that contains G and CS a good investment. Research thoroughly before buying a product as I don't believe that a lot of the leading brands are all thery're cracked up to be. DEFINATELY read the label. It's a basic principle but too many people don't know what daily dose they are feeding their horse. Just because one person says that a product is good doesn't make it good. Many people believe what they want to believe. If you think it should be helping then you will generally believe it is regardless of the true impact the product is having.
The higher the dose the better. That's the key. Paying more doesn't neccesarily get you a better product.
 
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