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ProKalm Powder

ProKalm Horse Calming Supplement - 2.4lbs (1.10kg) Powder

Regular price $83.00

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ProKalm Horse Calming Supplement

  • Rated the UK's Number 1 calmer in a survey of over 1600 horse owners
  • An innovation in helping horses perform to their potential
  • Aids concentration
  • Available in a syringe or daily feed supplement
  • 2.4lb (1.1kg) tub gives approximately 5-week supply
Product Description:

What? 

ProKalm has recently been rated the UK's Number 1 in a survey of over 1500 participants and is an innovation in helping horses and ponies perform to their potential. Using a unique formulation, ProKalm acts rapidly - in as little as 30 minutes - with the effects lasting up to 8 hours. At low intake, ProKalm is perfect for "taking the edge off". At moderate and high intake, ProKalm is suitable for more demanding or stressful situations. A unique combination of herb extracts and amino acids, but does not contain valerian, magnesium, or tryptophan. ProKalm does not sedate or affect gait or performance, but helps relax and focus the horse. In 3 clinical trials, ProKalm has been shown to reduce itching, improve dressage scores for motions related to relaxation and extension, and reduce stereotypical behaviors like wind-sucking, cribbing, weaving, and stall walking.

Why not magnesium? There is no scientific evidence that magnesium has any calming effect in horses
Why not valerian? It is illegal under FEI and rules of racing
Why not tryptophan? Tryptophan signals to the body that it is exhausted and has a negative effect on performance.
Are any ingredients not allowed under FEI or USEF rules? ProKalm ingredients are all approved under FEI rules.  As of 2020 under USEF rules, ProKalm requires a 7 day wash out period before competition.

Why? 

However well you manage horses, stressful triggers can cause difficult or even dangerous behaviors. Anxiety, management, or environmental changes may lead to undesirable behaviors when stalled or at pasture, and some horses may become difficult to train, handle, or ride due to their lack of focus or their tension level. Some horses benefit from enticing a calming sense to help them have more reasonable responses to stimuli or changes or to help them deal with unavoidable stressors.

When? 

ProKalm is perfect for "taking the edge off" for horses who are anxious or tense. At moderate and high intake, ProKalm is suitable to help ease reactivity during more demanding situations. ProKalm is available as a daily feed supplement or as a syringe and can be fed as required, for isolated situations, or on a daily basis for more consistent results. The powder and syringe can be used simultaneously if needed.

The effects of a single dose can begin within 30 minutes and last for up to 8 hours. The amount given can be varied to get the desired effect, and some horses require a higher rate than others. For a strong effect, e.g. to clip, shoe, stall unexpectedly, or horses that are overly active during turn out, give 2-4 scoops for a 1100lb horses in feed within at least 30min of trigger activity. For a mild-moderate effect, e.g. for riding, travelling, etc., give 1-2 scoops for a 1100lb horse in feed around 1-2h before peak effect is required. For sustained results over time, give 1 to 2 scoops for a 1100lb horse in both morning and evening feeds for at least 7 days. For first time use, we strongly recommend starting with only 2 scoops per day, split between morning and evening feed, for an 1100lb horse to determine the level of response. If the effect is too strong, then reduce the feeding rate. If after 1-2 days the effect is not strong enough, then increase the number of scoops per day for a few days, slowly increasing up to the maximum recommended intake.

Instructions for use & feeding guide:

Use the 25ml (16g) scoop provided
                                                         Level 25ml (16g) scoops per day
Pony - approximately 550lbs              1 - 3
Horse - approximately 1100lbs          2 - 4
Large Horse - over 1650lbs                2 - 6

-Mix thoroughly with feed and split between meals where possible.

-Always start with the minimum feeding rate. If after 2 days a stronger effect is needed, then increase the daily feeding rate, up to the maximum recommended daily intake. If a less potent effect is required then decrease the daily feeding rate. Individual horses may respond differently and the level of intake should be adjusted to obtain the required effect.

-The effects of ProKalm may be seen in as little as 30 minutes. The effects of a single feed can last for up to 8 hours. Peak effects are usually observed 2-4 hours after feeding.

-For difficult behaviors, the effect may take 2-3 days to stabilize.

-The effects of ProKalm are more predictable and consistent when it is fed regularly twice a day.

-Do not exceed the recommended intake.

Ingredients & Composition: 

One of our core values is transparency. That’s why we list all the active ingredients so you know exactly what your horse is getting.

Composition:
Withania somnifera, Passiflora incarnata, Melissa officianalis, L-Theanine, Rice flour.

Analytical Constituents:
Crude Protein 13.3%; Crude Oils & Fats <1%; Crude Ash 1%; Crude Fiber 1.5%; Calcium <1%; Sodium <1%; Phosphorus <1%.

Additives (per kg):
Amino Acids: L-Tyrosine 62.5g.

Research (affect on dressage gait scores):

QUESTION: Does an oral supplement containing Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine affect gait biomechanics in dressage?

Background

  • A horse must be relaxed and cooperative, working in harmony with the rider to achieve the highest scores in a dressage test (FEI Handbook, 2012).
  • Currently the National and International federations have no objections to the use of calming supplements provided they do not contain prohibited substances.

Aim of Study

To investigate the use of an oral supplement containing Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine (ProKalm, Science Supplements) to improve gait quality, and therefore dressage performance, in the competition horse by increasing relaxation.

Study Design

  • Placebo-controlled = some horses received the active supplement and some received a supplement with no active ingredients (placebo). Use of a placebo helps reduce bias (seeing a false positive result) and allows for the fact that an improvement might be observed from horses spontaneously improving.
  • Randomized = which horses were given placebo was pre-determined by a random system rather than a person deciding at the time of seeing a horse. This removes bias in the results caused by selecting only certain horses (e.g. less itchy horses) to have a particular treatment.
  • Blind = owners did not know if their horses received the active supplement and or placebo supplement. Blinding removes bias caused by people wanting to see a positive effect with the active supplement.
  • Crossover trial = all horses received both active supplement and placebo allowing the response of an individual horse to each treatment to be compared. Crossover trials are potentially more efficient than similar sized, parallel group trials in which each horse is exposed to only one treatment.
  • Washout = the time between treatments (active supplement and placebo). A washout period of time allows the treatment from the first period to be washed out of the patient's system.

Study Outline

Twenty-five competitive dressage horses, currently competing at British Dressage levels from Novice to Advanced, were volunteered for the trial with their usual riders. Horse and rider combinations were assessed biomechanically and by two British Dressage Level One dressage judges following: 1) no intervention, 2) placebo administration and, 3) ProKalm administration in a randomized order. Placebo and ProKalm were administered for four days at a dose of 64g/day, split evenly between two feeds, with ridden assessment occurring on the fourth day. Each horse was then given a 48h washout period before the next phase of the study. The authors, judges and participants were blinded throughout the trial and no feedback was given to riders during the trial, other than to acknowledge that data collection was successful. The same assessment was performed by each horse and rider, in their home environment, on the same surface, on each of the three test occasions. Horses sequentially performed a medium walk, free walk, working, collected, medium and extended trot (where established), and a working canter. Each movement was recorded three times in each direction, giving a minimum of fifteen strides. The tests were filmed, marker-free, in three dimensions at high-speed for biomechanical analysis and simultaneously in two dimensions at 25Hz to allow dressage judges to remotely assess the performance.

Study Results

  • Of the 25 participants’ 75 testing days, 8 were lost irreparably through cancellations due to injury, ill health and weather conditions leaving 21 horses with complete data sets.
  • The placebo had a positive effect on horse and rider performance and this was used to give a baseline of inter-trial variability. A beneficial effect produced by a placebo is considered to be due to the owner’s belief in that treatment.
  • Stride length, fetlock angles, hock angles and movement, and center of gravity displacements were significantly different following ProKalm administration. Significantly greater hock joint movement was present at the collected and working trots and at the canter in the ProKalm test. Fetlock joint peak angle significantly increased during stance in the ProKalm test in collected and working trots. Stride length was shown to significantly increase in working and extended trots and in canter.
  • A significant increase in the judge’s scores, above the inter-trial variability suggested by the placebo results, was observed following ProKalm administration.

Take Home Message

  • ProKalm improved some aspects of dressage movements which may be a result of the increased hind limb engagement suggested by the higher peak hind limb hock angles.
  • As ProKalm has no pain-killing effects, it is assumed the increased stride length and hind limb angles is the result of less tension, however further work is required to confirm this hypothesis.
Research (affect on itching): 

QUESTION: Does an oral supplement containing Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine on decrease owner reported itching in horses?

Background

  • The itch-scratch cycle can have a behavioral component1. Additionally, in humans, depression and anxiety are frequently associated with the itch-scratch cycle2.
  • Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine have anxiolytic and anti-oxidative properties3,4. An equine supplement containing these compounds (ProKalm, Science Supplements) has previously been demonstrated to modify equine behavior (see ProKalm behavior study).

Aim of Study

To evaluate ProKalm for reducing itch in chronically itchy horses.

Study Design

  • Placebo-controlled = some horses received the active supplement and some received a supplement with no active ingredients (placebo). Use of a placebo helps reduce bias (seeing a false positive result) and allows for the fact that an improvement might be observed from horses spontaneously improving.
  • Randomized = which horses were given placebo was pre-determined by a random system rather than a person deciding at the time of seeing a horse. This removes bias in the results caused by selecting only certain horses (e.g. less itchy horses) to have a particular treatment.
  • Blind = owners did not know if their horses received the active supplement and or placebo supplement. Blinding removes bias caused by people wanting to see a positive effect with the active supplement.
  • Crossover trial = all horses received both active supplement and placebo allowing the response of an individual horse to each treatment to be compared. Crossover trials are potentially more efficient than similar sized, parallel group trials in which each horse is exposed to only one treatment.
  • Washout = the time between treatments (active supplement and placebo). A washout period of time allows the treatment from the first period to be washed out of the patient's system.

Study Outline

Horses with a history of chronic (over 6 months) itch were recruited. Eight horses with a veterinary diagnosis of sweet itch (SI) were selected as well as nine horses NOT considered to be related to SI (other itch, OI). Owners fed either the active supplement (64g ProKalm) or placebo (64g rice flour only) split between morning and evening feeds for 7 days. Additionally, owners reported a daily score of their horse’s itchiness on a scale from 0 (none) to 10 (very severe). Half the horses in each group (SI and OI) randomly received the active supplement first and then the placebo and half received the placebo and then the active supplement. A 7-day washout period was given between supplements. Owners did not know: a) the order in which their horse received active supplement or placebo or b) the ingredients of the supplement.

Study Results

  • Pre-trial itch scores were not significantly different between active or placebo supplement groups when all horses were considered together or by itch group (SI/OI) indicating all horses were of a similar severity at the start of the trial.
  • When all 17 horses were considered together there was a significant reduction in itch score when receiving both active supplement and placebo (Fig. 1). A beneficial effect produced by a placebo is considered to be due to the owner’s belief in that treatment.

 Affect of ProKalm on any type of itching

 Fig. 1: Owner-reported itch scores for 17 horses with chronic itching (8 sweet itch; 9 other itch) before (pre-trial) and after (post-trial) 7 days of oral active or placebo supplement. Both active and placebo supplements showed a significant decrease in median itch score following supplementation (P=0.007; P=0.008 respectively).

  • When the itch groups were considered separately, a significant reduction in itch score was observed only in OI horses fed active supplement (Fig. 2) and SI horses fed placebo (Fig. 3).
Affect of ProKalm on non-sweet itch itching

Fig. 2: Owner-reported itch scores for 9 horses with other itch only before (pre-trial) and after (post-trial) 7 days of oral active or placebo supplement. Horses had a significantly reduced itch score following active supplement only (P=0.016).

Affect of ProKalm on sweet itch itching

Fig. 3: Owner-reported itch scores for 8 horses with sweet itch only before (pre-trial) and after (post-trial) 7 days of oral active or placebo supplement. Horses had a significantly reduced itch score following placebo supplement only (P=0.016).

Take Home Message

  • ProKalm significantly reduced itch scores for horses with itching not associated with sweet itch. Some horses with sweet itch were also reported to show improvement, though not significantly.
  • The dose of Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine used in this study is considered low-medium and therefore feeding at a higher dose and/or a longer period than 7 days may be useful in non-responsive cases.

References

  1. Shumaker, A.K. 2019 Diagnosis and Treatment of Canine Acral Lick Dermatitis. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 49(1):105-123.
  2. Jafferany, M. and Davari, M. E. (2019) Itch and psyche: psychiatric aspects of pruritus. Int J Dermatol, 58: 3-23.
  3. Miraj S, Rafieian-Kopaei, Kiani S. (2017) Melissa officinalis L: A Review Study with an Antioxidant Prospective. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med.;22(3):385–394.
  4. Shakeri A, Sahebkar A, Javadi B. (2016) Melissa officinalis L. - A review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. J Ethnopharmacol. 188:204-28.
Research (affect on stereotypical behaviors): 

QUESTION: Does an oral supplement containing Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine reduce stereotypical behavior in horses?

Background

  • Stereotypical behaviors (a repetitive behavior that has no discernible function, often destructive or harmful in some way) are commonly seen in domesticated horses with a reported prevalence of 2.1-10.5% for cribbing/windsucking1-3.
  • Stereotypical behaviors have been associated with an increased prevalence of gastric ulceration4, poor body condition and weight loss5, and colic6,7. Cribbing/windsucking behavior has also been reported as a specific risk factor for simple colonic obstruction and distention colic8 and epiploic foramen entrapment9-11.
  • Lemon balm12 (Melissa Officinalis) and L-theanine13-15 have been shown to have anti-anxiety and behavior modifying properties in multiple species.

Aim of Study

To investigate if a calming supplement containing lemon balm and L-theanine (ProKalm, Science Supplements) reduced stereotypical behaviors of horses.

Study Design

  • Prospective clinical case series = a group of horses selected for a particular reason (stereotypical behavior in this study) was followed over several days.

Study Outline

Eighteen horses exhibiting chronic (over 6 months) stereotypical behavior were recruited. Owners completed a questionnaire categorizing the stereotypical behavior and rating the severity on a scale with 0 being no stereotypical behavior and 10 being most severe stereotypical behavior seen by that horse. Horses were fed 64 g ProKalm split equally in morning and evening feeds for 3 days. Owners repeated scoring of stereotypical behavior once daily.

Study Results

  • Fourteen horses displayed one stereotypical behavior, three horses displayed two behaviors and one horse showed three (Table 1). Wind-sucking was the most frequently reported stereotypical behavior (Table 1).
    Stereotypical behavior counts

Table 1: Stereotypical behaviors demonstrated by 18 horses. Note that four horses exhibited more than one behavior.

  • All horses ate supplement in feed without palatability issues. Two owners anecdotally reported improvement but did not return scoring sheets and therefore two horses were excluded from further analyses.
  • Behavior scores decreased from day 1 to day 3 in 12/16 (75%) of horses with 7/16 (44%) showing a decrease of 50% or greater. Two horses completely stopped exhibiting stereotypical behavior by day 3, one of which had exhibited 3 stereotypical behaviors on day 1.
  • Mean severity score decreased significantly across the study (Fig. 1). Scores were significantly decreased from day 1 at day 2 and day 3.
    Change in behavior scores with ProKalm

Figure 1: Mean (±SD) severity score of stereotypical behavior in 16 horses during 3 days of ProKalm supplementation. Median score decreased significantly from Day 1 to Day 2 (0.004) and from Day 1 to Day 3 (0.001).

Take Home Message

  • Feeding 64 g ProKalm for 3 days significantly decreased severity of stereotypical behavior in 75% of horses. Approximately half of responding horses showed a 50% or greater reduction in severity score and two ceased exhibiting stereotypical behavior completely.
  • The dose of Melissa Officinalis extract and L-Theanine used in this study is considered low-medium. Feeding a higher dose or for a longer period may be of additional benefit to non-responsive or poorly responsive horses.

References

  1. McBride SD and Long L: Management of horses showing stereotypic behaviour, owner perception and the implications for welfare. Vet Record 2001, 148(26):799-802.
  2. Albright JD, et al. Crib-biting in US horses: Breed predispositions and owner perceptions of aetiology. Equine Vet J 2009, 41(5):455-458.
  3. Waters AJ, et al. Factors influencing the development of stereotypic and redirected behaviours in young horses: findings of a four year prospective epidemiological study. Equine Vet J 2002, 34(6):572-579.
  4. Nicol CJ, et al. Study of crib-biting and gastric inflammation and ulceration in young horses. Veterinary Rec. 2002;151(22):658
  5. McGreevy P, Nicol C. Physiological and behavioral consequences associated with short-term prevention of crib-biting in horses. Physiology & Behavior. 1998;65(1):15-23.
  6. Malamed R, et al. Retrospective evaluation of crib-biting and windsucking behaviours and owner-perceived behavioural traits as risk factors for colic in horses. Equine Vet J. 2010;42(8):686-692.
  7. Scantlebury C et al. Recurrent colic in the horse: Incidence and risk factors for recurrence in the general practice population. Equine Vet J. 2011;39:81-88.
  8. Hillyer MH, et al. Case control study to identify risk factors for simple colonic obstruction and distension colic in horses. Equine Vet J. 2002;34(5):455–463.
  9. Archer DC, et al. Association between cribbing and entrapment of the small intestine in the epiploic foramen in horses: 68 cases (1991-2002) JAVMA 2004;224(4):562-564.
  10. Archer DC, et al. Risk factors for epiploic foramen entrapment colic in a UK horse population: A prospective case-control study. Equine Vet J. 2008;40(4):405–410.
  11. Archer DC, et al. Risk factors for epiploic foramen entrapment colic: An international study. Equine Vet J. 2008;40(3):224–230.
  12. Watson K, et al. A randomised controlled trial of Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia) and Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) essential oils for the treatment of agitated behaviour in older people with and without dementia. Complement Ther Med. 2019 42:366-373.
  13. Kimura K, et al. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 74(1):39-45.
  14. Dramard V, et al. Effect of L-theanine tablets in reducing stress-related emotional signs in cats: an open-label field study. Irish Vet J. 2018 9;71:21.
  15. Ogawa S, et al. Effects of L-theanine on anxiety-like behavior, cerebrospinal fluid amino acid profile, and hippocampal activity in Wistar Kyoto rats. Psychopharmacol (Berl). 2018 235(1):37-45.
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