Bute for horses or as its known by its medical name – phenylbutazone is a common pain killer and anti-inflammatory for horses and other animals. It’s a staple in most barns or equine first aid kits. Put simply its a go to horse medication for most horse owners when their horse is in need of a pain reliever.
What is bute for horses used for?
There are two main purposes for bute.
For the short term treatment of pain (analgesia) and the treatment of fever (antipyresis) in horses.
Pain treatment: Bute is used to treat the pain associated with infections & musculoskeletal disorders including:
- Overuse injuries
Bute acts directly on musculoskeletal tissue to control inflammation. This alleviates pain, reduces secondary inflammation and restores motion. Bute is NOT an effective pain reliever for colic.
Fever Reduction: Bute’s antipyretic qualities can reduce fever symptoms and assist a horse’s recovery by encouraging eating & drinking. However, it may also mask other symptoms of an ill horse.
Day 1 – (8.8mg/kg per day) – Days 2 -5 (4.4mg/kg per day):
N.B. Treatments should not exceed 5 consecutive days.
Side effects of phenylbutazone
Bute works well for horses for short-term pain relief, but can be toxic if used in too high of a dose.
Some adverse side effects include gastro intestinal ulcers, kidney damage oral lesions and internal haemorrhage.
Where do you get bute for horses?
Bute is available via prescription from your veterinarian or buy online
Things to note:
Bute becomes inactive in extreme heat – so don’t try and bake it into treats to make it more palatable for your horse.
Bute should be used cautiously in pregnant or lactating mares.
Not sure whether you need Bute or not? Check out this article to find out the common signals of a horse in pain.