Is Devils Claw Worth Trying For Your Horse?

Does This Natural Arthritis Remedy Help Horses?

As a horse owner, you know what it's like. Someone on your livery yard will know about a remedy for different ailments. With horses often having a variety of health conditions. There can be lots of ailments. I remember when a yard manager suggested Devil's Claw as being a way to ease stiffness. I thought if it's herbal then yes I'm interested. But what a name, what is it?!

Sure enough when I went to the tack shop, I found some there. I bought some, thinking it's worth a try. Tara had arthritis diagnosed in her neck, so I was keen to try lots of things to keep her supple. The labelling on the liquid supplement said it would help relieve stiffness. So the yard manager may be on to something, when she suggested it to me.

I mentioned it to my Veterinary Surgeon. Who also said it might be useful to try. But of course couldn't say it would definitely help. But many veterinary surgeon's are open to more natural options. As of course some medication can have side-effects if used on a long-term or permanent basis.

So what is Devil’s Claw?

It’s a plant native to some desert areas of Africa. It's understood that people in these areas have had Devil’s Claw as a “tea” for hundreds of years. Mainly to help with arthritic ailments.

Animals also can have it. Usually as a liquid supplement or as a dried herb. Horses are the animals most likely to have it as a supplement.

You may've heard of "No Bute"? This is based on Devil's Claw. And is an easy way to give the benefits of Devil's Claw.

Does it work with helping arthritis?

Yes! Research into its effects for humans. Shows that Devil’s Claw does have an anti-inflammatory effect. Get more research information here. There's limited veterinary research into its use. But 2018 research shows (click here to see), that it's safe for use with horses. And that it's used a lot with horses.

Remember though that quality is essential! Harvesting and production varies a lot. This can make a difference to the effectiveness of the herb when it reaches your animal. Use a high quality brand. Many leading animal health supplement companies supply Devil’s Claw. And should be able to confirm the quality of their product.

Is Devil's Claw safe to use?

There are possible side effects with Devil’s Claw. But this is the same as with many other supplements. So before using, it’s always advised to check with your Veterinary Surgeon first. Especially if your horse is on other medication. Or taking any other supplements. It's usually advised NOT to use with pregnant mares.

If you compete your horse and need to worry about complying with anti-doping policies. Then DO check with your Veterinary Surgeon for clarity about withdrawal times.

Research on its impact on equine gastric ulcers… In 2020, research was presented showing that devil's claw doesn't have a negative effect. Take a look here for more information.

Lastly……did it help Tara?

Yes I think so! Tara had it as a supplement for several months, and it seemed to help…. I did then discover Forever Living Products and switched Tara onto one of their supplements for mobility, which made sense as I started selling the products. And I can't sell something that I don't use and love!

Find out more about dozens of natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore how complementary therapies can help your animal!

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business and social media coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.