Devil's Claw: Good or Bad for Horses?

Devil's Claw: Good or Bad for Horses?

Many herbal blends made today contain Devil's Claw for its potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant properties.

Let's take a closer look at a few frequently asked questions about this plant:

Where does Devil's Claw come from?

Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) grows mainly in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The common name devil's claw comes from the fruits, which are covered with small hooks. The trumpet-shaped flowers open for only one day and have a red to pink colour and a yellowish throat.

As a desert plant, Devil's Claw stores water and nutrients in its root system.

Is Devil's Claw good for horses?

For centuries, the indigenous people of South Africa have used this plant against numerous diseases and ailments. In horses, it is useful for inflammation or pain caused by arthritis or muscle pain. The plant can also be helpful for older horses or horses that have a history of tendon or ligament damage. The reason for this is that the plant contains harpogoside, which works against inflammation. Other components have pain-relieving properties and there are also a number of antioxidants in it, which is again good against inflammation.

Devil's claw is generally a safe medicine and is well tolerated when administered orally. The plant is an effective herb, especially for acute or chronic pain, and should therefore not be ignored when deciding on treatment options for your horse.

How to use Devil's Claw on horses?

Devil's claw preparations can simply be added to the feed. Alternatively, a dosing syringe can be used to put the preparation directly into the horse's mouth. The amount to be administered can vary depending on the strength of the preparation - therefore it is best to follow the dosage recommendations of the respective product exactly.

How much Devil's Claw should I give my horse?

The usual dose for a medium-sized horse is 4 grams, twice daily. Some horses respond well to a dose as low as 2 grams twice daily. However, as a general rule, it is always best to follow the dosage recommendations of the respective manufacturer and follow them closely.

How long does it take for Devil's Claw to take effect in horses?

Harpagoside has been found to be detectable in the horse's blood as early as 30 minutes after administration, with the highest concentration in blood plasma reached after one hour. This means that Devil's Claw is absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly and can take effect.