Question:  I am a bit confused concerning the recommended use of Devil's claw root. Is it to be seen as a supplement that one can use for a horse in full training as support, or is it a painkiller that should only be used for a horse at rest/recovery?  Thank you! Dr. Kellon: That's an excellent question.  On one hand, the antioxidant action of Devil's Claw can be viewed as a way to help prevent hard working tissues from damage:
However, Devil's Claw also has well documented anti-inflammatory activity by direct suppression of COX enzymes and inflammatory cytokines and it has potent analgesic/pain-blocking action.  Because of these activities and their potential to mask injury it is prohibited for use in competitions.
There are many other effective ways to support your horses joints such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronate, Boswellia, MSM and others.