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Preliminary evaluation of the efficacy of SteadfastTM Joint Supplement in captive exotic felids (Arabian leopard and cheetah)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 March 2015

Jane Budd
Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, P.O.Box 29922 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Ellen S. Dierenfeld
Ellen S. Dierenfeld LLC, Animal Nutrition Consultant, St. Louis, USA Novus International Inc., St. Charles, Missouri, USA
Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd*
Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, P.O.Box 29922 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates Nottingham Trent University, School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0QF, UK


Feline degenerative joint disease causes pain and disability and therefore represents a welfare concern for captive animals. Alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical therapies are gaining popularity and this study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of an egg-shell membrane therapy in captive cheetahs and leopards. Seven animals were treated with SteadfastTM and monitored for radiographic changes (n = 6) and lameness score (n = 7) over a 42 day period. A reduction in lameness was determined over the course of the study (p = 0.01), and improved orthopaedic status detected in 50% (3/6) of animals via radiographic examination. Surprisingly, a negative dose response was detected, whereby animals receiving lower doses exhibited the most marked changes in lameness score. Despite the small sample size and subjective scoring of lameness, this preliminary study demonstrates the need for further investigation into the use of an eggshell membrane-based supplement to improve mobility in captive felids with degenerative joint disease.

Pilot Study
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition Ltd. 2015 

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