Agmatine Administration Effects on Equine Gastric Ulceration and Lameness

Document Type


Publication Date



Osteoarthritis (OA) accounts for up to 60% of equine lameness. Agmatine, a decarboxylated arginine, may be a viable option for OA management, based on reports of its analgesic properties. Six adult thoroughbred horses, with lameness attributable to thoracic limb OA, received either daily oral phenylbutazone (6.6 mg/kg), agmatine sulfate (25 mg/kg) or a control for 30 days, with 21-day washout periods between treatments. Subjective lameness, thoracic limb ground reaction forces (GRF), plasma agmatine and agmatine metabolite levels were evaluated using an established rubric, a force platform, and mass spectrometry, respectively, before, during and after each treatment period. Gastric ulceration and plasma chemistries were evaluated before and after treatments. Braking GRFs were greater after 14 and 29 days of agmatine compared to phenylbutazone administration. After 14 days of phenylbutazone administration, vertical GRFs were greater than for agmatine or the control. Glandular mucosal ulcer scores were lower after agmatine than phenylbutazone administration. Agmatine plasma levels peaked between 30 and 60 min and were largely undetectable by 24 h after oral administration. In contrast, plasma citric acid levels increased throughout agmatine administration, representing a shift in the metabolomic profile. Agmatine may be a viable option to improve thoracic limb GRFs while reducing the risk of glandular gastric ulceration in horses with OA.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Journal of clinical medicine