Detection and residence time of bisphosphonates in bone of horses

Heather K. Knych, Jennifer Janes, Laura Kennedy, Daniel S. McKemie, Rick M. Arthur, Monika A. Samol, Francisco A. Uzal, Mary Scollay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Bisphosphonates are potent anti-resorptive agents that have the potential to adversely affect bone healing in equine athletes, and normal bone adaption in young racehorses. A concern exists that bisphosphonate inhibition of normal bone metabolism could lead to increased bone fractures during high-intensity exercise. We found only a single report describing concentrations of tiludronate in the bone of horses, and no studies describing clodronate. Knowledge of the residence time in bone could allow for a better understanding of the long-term effects of these compounds. Our objectives were to develop a method for detection of bisphosphonates in bone and add to the limited information available regarding the disposition of these drugs in the bone of horses. Two horses received clodronate and 2 tiludronate disodium. Postmortem collection of bones and teeth occurred either 4 or 30 d post drug administration. Additionally, postmortem blood, synovial fluid, aqueous humor, and bone samples from racehorses with various histories of bisphosphonate administration were collected, and concentrations determined using the developed LC-MS/MS method. Bisphosphonates were detected in bones and teeth tested at 4 and 30 d. In a postmortem sample, clodronate was detected in bone from a horse with reported administration 18 mo prior; clodronate was not detected in other sample types collected from this horse. Bisphosphonates reside in bone for extended periods of time, which could lead to potential long-term effects, increasing the potential for bone fractures in young and/or athletic horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • bisphosphonates
  • clodronate
  • horses
  • tiludronate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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