What exactly is equine inflammation?
Equine inflammation is a vital part of the horse’s immune response.
- It’s the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury;
- defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria;
- and repair damaged tissue.
When you see the suffix ‘itis’ it indicates inflammation. For example laminitis is inflammation of the laminae, tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon and sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses.
Inflammation is often characterized by redness, swelling, warmth, and sometimes pain and immobility.
Why use anti-inflammatories for horses?
NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory are medications commonly used in the equine industry. Common drugs belonging to this group include the popular phenylbutazone or “Bute”and flunixin meglumine (popular as Banamine).
Both bute and banamine are popularly used to treat inflammatory problems in horses. Both these drugs are effective when given at a correct dose. Equally, they can also be harmful when used inappropriately.
Once aware of the potential side effects, it can be handy for horse people to have a supply of anti-inflammatory pain killers in their first aid kit. Furthermore, they can be purchased online without a a prescription.
Using bute for equine inflammation
Phenylbutazone or Bute is most commonly used in the treatment of lameness in horses. It also reduces fever, minimizes pain and is fairly inexpensive.
It can be given orally as paste or powder or injected intravenously. Although effective, owners should be aware of the risks when using bute without supervision from a veterinarian.
The side effects brought about by inappropriate use of bute involve the GI and the urinary tract. Gastrointestinal ulcers are the most common side effect.
These side effects are related to the dose given and the duration of the therapy.
What is the right dose of Bute?
The recommended dose set for phenylbutazone is 2-4 grams/day for a horse that weighs 1,000 pounds.
In general, the dosage should not exceed 5 -7 days. Even a dose of below 4g/day can produce gastrointestinal problems, especially if the drug is given for longer duration.
What You Should Know About Flunixin meglumine (Banamine)
Flunixin is an NSAID more commonly used to relieve pain from colic. It can also be used to treat conjunctivitis, and other painful eye problems like uveitis and corneal ulcers. This drug can also be used as treatment for arthritis in horses.
Flunixin can be effective if the cause of colic is spasmodic. However, if the cause of colic is something more serious such as feed impaction, flunixin will only relieve the pain but will not treat the basic problem.
Side Effects to Watch Out For
The most common side effect of the drug are ulcers forming in the stomach and large colon area. There are also other side effects such as bleeding disorders and kidney problems but they happen in rare instances.
Ulcers are more common when the drug is given at a long duration while kidney problems are observed in debilitated horses. In horses with liver and kidney problems, or those that are susceptible to ulcer formation, NSAIDs should be carefully used with monitoring from a veterinarian.
Dealing with Equine Inflammation
Both phenylbutazone and flunixin are important medicines in the equine industry.
Horse owners should know about the drug itself and how it works and be aware of potential side effects.
With that said, having anti-inflammatories available at short notice can be vital for an injured horse. It’s now possible to order bute online without the need for a prescription.
AbButazone™ (Phenylbutazone) is a non-steroidal, analgesic agent in easy-to-measure, easy-to-feed, flavourless, bright orange, film coated granules.