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First Posted: Feb 28, 2008
May 6, 2011

Horse Medicines

by Debora Johnson

I have tried to learn about the medicines that my vets have prescribed over the years. To me it is important to know the side affects, interactions, and history of the drugs that are prescribed. Like humans, horses may develop many conditions that are acute and chronic. By understanding the treatments and cures, it helps both horse and owner. I will continue to add to this list and hope that it will be beneficial to you. Please contact me if you have a medicine that is not listed here. By sharing, this article can be a useful tool to many fellow horse friends. Medical Terms Dictionary (Human, but helpful) and Treatments for Horses

Anaphylactic Shock
Antibiotics and Infections
Colic Medications
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)(Heaves)
Corticosteroid
Cushing's Disease Medications
Dieuretics
Equine Protozoal Myeloenepalitis (EPM)
Estrus and Pregnancy
Eye Problems
Fungus
Gastro Intestional Problems Including Ulcers
Heart Failure and Pulmonary Edema (lung fluid)
Lameness
Musculoskeletal Disorders
Pain Management
Respiratory Disorders
Sedatives
Stem Cell Research


Anaphylactic Shock

Epinephrine - For the treatment of anaphylactic shock. For emergency use only.
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Antiobiotics and Infections

Doxycycline - A bacteriostatic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections such as Lyme disease, Chlamydia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and bacterial infections caused by susceptible organisms.

Metronidazole - An antibiotic especially effective against anaerobic infections. Metronidazole has anti-inflammatory properties in the large intestine and is a very effective anti-diarrhea medication.

Tribrissen 400 Oral Paste - Indicated in horses where potent systemic antibacterial action against sensitive organisms is required.

Tucoprim Powder Trimethoprim/sulfadiazine - Indicated in horses where potent systemic antibacterial action against sensitive organisms is required.

For More Information on Antibiotics:

Equine Antibiotics: What They Are, How They Work, and Resistance
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Respiratory Disorders and Cough Medicines

Air Power - (Finish Line) All natural. Temporarily opens breathing passages, allowing the horse to get more air. One dose will stop a horse from coughing, usually all day. Helps horses with heaves. Administer 1/2 oz in AM and PM. Will not test positive. Albuterol Sulfate - A bronchodilator used to treat or prevent the symptoms of asthma, emphysema, and other breathing conditions.

AniHist - (AniMed) An oral antihistamine and expectorant granule for use in horses. Contains: 2400 mg Guaifenesin and 600 mg Pyrilamine Malealte per oz. Blended in a palatable base. Feed 1/2 oz per 1000 lbs of body weight. Use at least 92 hours before events. Will test positive.

Asthma & Allergy - (EquioPathics) - For coughing, pollen, hay or dust allergies, heaves and related breathing problems. Will not test positive. Safe for pregnant and nursing mares. Administer: 2 ml three times a day. (Note: Reduce dosage as condition improves. Eliminate dose after improvement is maintained for 3 days. Repeat if condition reappears.) Vet approved.

Cough Calm - (Oral-X) Aid for the temporary relief of bronchial congestion and minor throat irritations such as dry, hacking cough caused by the dusty, dry conditions in closed, confined stable areas. 34 gm syringe treats up to 1000 lbs. Will not test positive.

Cough Free - (Farnam) For horses with allergies, heaves, stable cough or congestion. 100% natural. Attacks the causes of coughs and congestion. 2 scoops for the first 5 days. 1 scoop for maintenance until cough clears. 1/2 oz scoop enclosed. Will not test positive. Natural formula of 7 herbs and minerals. Helps horses fight off colds, allergies, and heave-related symptoms. Contains NO fillers. Works fast and tests free in most associations.

Cyproheptadine - An antihistamine used in the treatment of allergies and asthma.

DOPRAM-V (doxapram hydrochloride) - A potent respiratory stimulant. It is unique in its ability to stimulate respiration at dosages considerably below those required to evoke cerebral cortical stimulation.

Histall Antihistamine Granules - (AniMed) An Oral antihistamine for horses blended in a sweet palatable base. Feed 1/2 oz (1 tbsp) per 1000 lb body weight (the larger the end of the enclosed scoop measures approximately 1/2 oz), or as recommended by vet. Can be mixed with feed and repeated at 12 hour intervals as needed. Do not use at least 72 hours prior to sporting event.

Hydroxyzine - Hydroxyzine has several important effects and thus several uses. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine and it is used for acute inflammatory and allergic conditions such as snake bites, vaccination reactions, blood transfusion reactions, bee stings and insect bites, and for managing itchy skin.

Nose & Sinus - (EquioPathics) For runny nose, sinus infection, upper respiratory illness showing a yellow, watery or green discharge from nose or crusty nose. Will not test positive. Safe for pregnant and nursing mares. Administer: 2 ml twice a day until sign of improvement occur. Vet approved. Trihist DM - (This is what I use for my horses, when needed) - Each ounce contains: Pyrilamine Maleate U.S.P. 600 mg, Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride U.S.P. 600 mg, Cornmeal q.s. Instructions: 1/2 ounce (level tablespoon per 1,000 lbs body weight. Can be mixed with feed and repeated at 12 hour intervals if needed. Precautions: Caution for horses only. Keep out of the reach of children. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. D,E,A, List One Chemical. Warning: Do not use at east 72 hours prior to sporting events. Storage: Store at controlled room temperature between 15º-30ºC (59º-86ºF).

Spec-tuss - A palatable powder used as an expectorant in horses.

Trihist-D - (I use this on my horses, when necessary) Generic Name: pheniramine/ pyrilamine/ phenyltoloxamine/ phenylpropanolamine (fen IR a meen/pie RILL a meen/fen ill toe LOX a meen/fen ill proe pa NOLE a meen) Brand Names: Delhist D, Delhistine D, Histine-D, Iohist D, KG-Hist D, Liqui-Histine-D, Metahistine D, Multihist D, Multihistamine-D, Poly-D, Poly-Histine-D, Prohistine-D, Trihist-D - Antihistamines that block the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in the body. Pheniramine, pyrilamine, and phenyltoloxamine prevent sneezing; itchy, watery eyes and nose; and other symptoms of allergies and hay fever. Phenylpropanolamine is a decongestant. It constricts (shrinks) blood vessels (veins and arteries). This reduces the blood flow to certain areas and allows nasal and respiratory (breathing) passages to open up.

Tri-Tussin - (Creative Science) A palatable powder used in water as an expectorant in large animals and horses. For use in swine, cattle, horses, sheep and poultry. Contains Guaifenesin USP, Ammonium Chloride and Potassium Iodine USP in a sweetened flavor. Distinctive red color.

Wind Aid - (Hawthorne) Relieves and treats damage caused by pollutants and contaminants. Helps open restricted or swollen air passages and eases throat irritation. Dosage given 2 oz two-to-three times daily 2 hours prior to event. Administer orally with a dose syringe. Will not test positive.
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)(Heaves)

Ventipulmin Syrup - Clenbuterol hydrochloride is indicated for the management of horses affected with airway obstruction, such as occurs in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
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Colic Medications

Medical treatment could include the following procedures: Nasogastric tube to relieve gas. Sedation to allow examination. Analgesic for pain (e.g., Banamine). Intravenous fluid to correct electrolyte and acid-base imbalances. Water lavage (enema) at the site of an impaction. If mild-fecal-softening agents such as psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid (Metamucil TM) (1-2 cups for 30 days), mineral oil, or warm-water enemas with lubricants. 10-12 liters of warm water via a nasogastric tube every 2 hours. Surgery may involve resection of the damaged intestine. When deciding about surgery, consider economic factors. The post-surgery survival rate is 50 percent, with 20 percent of those survivors dying within 1 year.

Also the normal horse consumes 5-15 gallons of water per day. Dehydration in horses has serious consequences and severe dehydration can lead to problems including kidney damage and colic. Feeding daily electrolytes helps to maintain your horse's hydration and mineral balance and is a must for eventing and endurance disciplines or horses that sweat heavily. Also, I always give electrolytes before a long trailer trip. I start a day or two before the trip. This encourages my horses to drink water in the trailer.

Banamine (Schering-Plough) - A sterile solution of flunixin meglumine used for alleviation of pain and inflammation associated with colic and musculoskeletal disorders in horses. It comes in injectable form as well as a paste. Potent non-narcotic, non-steroidal analgesic agent with anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing activity. One oral syringe will treat a 1000 lb. horse once daily for 3 days. Banamine

Buscopan - Indicated for the control of abdominal pain (colic) associated with spasmodic colic, flatulent colic, and simple impactions in horses.

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) into the ileum - Colicky horses that undergo exploratory surgery and are ultimately diagnosed with an ileal impaction appear to benefit from a single injection of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) into the ileum to resolve the problem, according to veterinarians from Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Colic Surgery and Intestinal Lubricants (AAEP 2010)

Dipyrone - Has both non narcotic analgesic and antispasmodic properties (although the latter effect is somewhat in question).
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Corticosteroid

Dexamethasone (Azium) - A corticosteroid used to treat severe allergies, arthritis, asthma, and skin conditions.
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Cushing's Disease

Ketoconazole - An antifungal medication used to treat yeast infections, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, aspergillosis and cryptococcosis. It has also been used to treat Cushing's disease.

Pergolide - The drug of choice for the treatment of pituitary pars intermedia hyperplasia or Equine Cushing's Syndrome (ECS) in horses.
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Diuretics

(Treatment for High Blood Pressure, Congestive Heart Failure, Kidney and Liver Disease and Abnormally Low Potassium Levels in the Blood)

Spironolactone - A potassium sparing diuretic used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, kidney and liver disease and conditions in which there are abnormally low levels of potassium in the blood. Top



Equine Protozoal Myeloenepalitis (EPM)

Marquis Antiprotozoal Oral Paste - For the treatment of EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis). Each tube will treat a 1200 lb. horse for 7 days. Usual course of treatment is 28 days. The safety of Marquis in pregnant and lactating mares has not been established. Ponazuril.

ReBalance Antiprotozoal Oral Suspension - Indicated for the treatment of horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) caused by Sarcocystis neurona.
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Estrus and Pregnancy

Regu-Mate - A solution indicated to suppress estrus in mares. Suppression of estrus allows for a predictable occurrence of estrus following drug withdrawal.

Oxytocin - Primarily used to induce labor in animals having weak or no contractions. The drug enhances uterine contractions at the time of fetal delivery. Oxytocin is also used medically to expel any residual placental material that might be left in the uterus.
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Eye Problems

Cosopt - 2-0.5% 5ml Dorzolamide and timolol combination medicine contains a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor (dorzolamide) and a beta-adrenergic blocking agent (timolol).

NEO POLY GRAM Ophthalmic Solution - A combination of the antibiotics NEOMYCIN POLYMYXIN B, and GRAMICIDIN is an antibiotic combination used to treat eye infections.

Travatan Ophthalmic Solution - Used to treat certain kind of glaucoma. It is also used to treat a condition called hypertension of the eye. Travatan Ophthalmic Solution appears to work by increasing the outflow of fluid from the eye. This lowers the pressure in the eye.

Itraconazole/DMSO Ophthalmic for Horses

For More Information: Fungal Infections in the Equine Eye

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Fungus

Ketoconazole - An antifungal medication used to treat yeast infections, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, aspergillosis and cryptococcosis. It has also been used to treat Cushing's disease.

Itraconazole/DMSO Ophthalmic for Horses

For More Information: Fungal Infections in the Equine Eye
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Gastro/Intestional Problems including Ulcers

Studies show that the majority of performance horses may be hampered by ulcers. Symptoms of ulcers can include declining performance, irritability, girthiness, mild recurrent colic, weight loss and dull coat. Ulcers occur when too much acid is produced in the stomach. Horses in intensive training are especially likely to develop ulcers since exercise and high grain diets increase acid production. Other things that can lead to ulcers are little or no access to grazing and trailering for long periods of time. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to promote the regeneration and repair of cells that line the gut wall and may encourage an ulcer to heal. Of course, always consult your vet.

Cimetidine - Used for the treatment of duodenal ulcers, active gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pathological hypersecretory conditions (e.g., Zollinger Ellison syndrome), heartburn and the prevention of gastrointestinal bleeding. Ranitidine ( Zantac ) is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Ranitidine also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

GastroGard Oral Paste - For treatment and prevention of recurrence of gastric ulcers in horses and foal 4 weeks of age and older.

*Ranitidine (Zantac) - Used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Ranitidine also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Often Ranitidine is given along with bute and other related medications to reduce the changes of ulcers.

Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine brand) - Used for the treatment of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.
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Heart Failure and Pulmonary Edema (lung fluid)

Furosemide (Salix) - Is primarily used to treat heart failure and pulmonary edema (lung fluid). It is also used to treat some electrolyte imbalances, such as high calcium and high potassium levels.
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Joint Problems

There are three active ingredients that are used in joint medications: Clucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate and Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Other ingredients that are often used in joint medications are the anti-inflammatories: MSM, Yucca, Boswellia, Bromelain and Devil's Claw. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and cofactor to Glucosasmine. Amino acids and minerals such as Manganese, Zinc and Copper are also thought to be important cofactors to Glucosamine.

Adequan Equine - Recommended for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses.

Hylartin V (sodium hyaluronate) - Injection helps heal horses' joints. It lubricates joint tissues, reduces friction, alleviates pain and improves joint action.

Polyglycan - A patented formulation utilizing naturally occurring components of the synovia that play a central role in maintaining or returning the physiological environment of the joint to homeostasis.
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Lameness

Isoxsuprine - Is a vasodilator used widely in horses for nonspecific lameness, navicular disease and laminitis.
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Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions

Update: "The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) firocoxib had fewer side effects than phenylbutazone in horses after 42 days of treatment, according to scientists from Merial Limited who presented comparative research results at the 2010 Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md. ..."
Comparing Bute and Firocoxib Safety (AAEP 2010)

Tendon and ligament health is very important. Silica may be beneficial for tendons, ligaments, cartilage, hooves, skin, muscle tissue, bone support, immune enhancement and wound healing. Silica is an element essential to the production and maintenance of connective tissue. Studies have shown that dietary deficiencies of Silica can lead to deterioration of connective tissue strength and integrity.

Equioxx (Firocoxib) - Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in horses.

Ibuprofen - A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ibuprofen is used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation.

Ketoprofen - A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent of the propionic acid class that includes ibuprofen, naproxen and fenoprofen.

Legend Hyaluronate Sodium - Indicated in the treatment of joint dysfunction of the carpus or fetlock in horses due to non-infectious synovitis associated with equine osteoarthritis.

Methocarbamol - Indicated as an adjunct to therapy of acute inflammatory and traumatic conditions of the skeletal muscle and to reduce muscular spasms. The efficacy of both tablets and injectable in the treatment of acute skeletal muscle hyperactivity. Injections and pills.

Naproxen - An NSAID (non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drug) used to treat the inflammation and pain of arthritis.

Phenylzone Paste (Bute) - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for management of musculoskeletal conditions in horses, such as generalized arthritis. Usual dosage is 2-4 grams daily for a 1000 lb.

Surpass - Indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in the hock, knee, fetlock and pastern joints in horses. Indicated for the treatment of horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) caused by Sarcocystis neurona. 946.4 mL (1 quart) 250 mg sulfadiazine / 12.5 mg pyrimethamine Antiprotozoal.
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Sedatives and Tranquilizers

Is there a difference between sedatives and tranquilizers? The answer is yes. Tranquilizers calm the horse. It dulls the horse's reaction to stimuli, however, it does not dull pain receptors. ACE is a tranquilizer. Sedatives act on pain receptors and also reaction receptors. Rompum is a sedative.

Acepromazine - A very useful tranquilizer that depresses the central nervous system, causing sedation, relaxation, and a reduction in involuntary movements. It does not provide any relief from pain, however, and will not prevent a horse from moving or kicking (possibly slower) if it is startled or feels pain.

AnaSed (Xylazine) - Produces a state of sedation with a shorter period of analgesia, and as pre-anesthetic before local or general anesthetic.

Dormosedan (detomidine hydrochloride) - A nonnarcotic, synthetic (alpha-2 adrenoreceptor agonist) equine sedative/analgesic that contains the active ingredient detomidine hydrochloride. It can be used safely for a variety of minor surgical and diagnostic procedures. Dormosedan

DORMOSEDAN (detomidine hydrochloride) gel

A prospective, randomized, masked, multi-center study was conducted to evaluate under field conditions, whether DORMOSEDAN GEL provided sufficient sedation and restraint in horses to successfully conduct procedures requiring administration of a sedative. Two hundred and seventy client-owned horses of any breed or sex were sedated to facilitate grooming (including cleaning of the prepuce), hoof care, floating teeth (manually), passage of a nasogastric tube or endoscope, or radiography. Horses were enrolled in the study if they were a yearling or older, in satisfactory body condition, and had a history of requiring sedation or other means of strong restraint to enable similar procedures to be carried out. Horses were randomly assigned to receive DORMOSEDAN GEL sublingually at 0.040 mg/ kg or placebo gel. After administration of treatment, each horse's level of sedation, degree of ataxia, heart rate and rhythm, and respiratory rate were assessed and measured to recovery. After an appropriate period of time elapsed to allow sedation to develop, a study veterinarian assessed and scored the ability to attempt and to complete the veterinary or husbandry procedure.

One hundred and twenty-nine DORMOSEDAN GEL-treated and 42 placebo-treated horses were included in the statistical analysis of effectiveness. Ninety-nine horses were excluded from the analysis due to failure to meet inclusion criteria or due to major protocol deviations. The veterinary or husbandry procedure was successfully completed for 98 of 129 DORMOSEDAN GEL-treated horses (76%) but only 3 of 42 placebo-treated horses (7%) (Table 3). The difference between the two treatments was statistically significant (p=0.0005).

Sodium Chloride (Saline) for use in replacement therapy of sodium, chloride and water which may become depleted in many diseases. Because this solution is isotonic with body fluids, it may also be used as a solvent or diluent, for antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals and biologicals where compatible, and for washing mucous membranes and other tissue surfaces.

It is also interesting to note that nervousness, irritability and excitement can be signs of Vitamin B1 deficiency (Thiamin). Thiamine is commonly fed as a calming agent. Magnesium is fed for similar reasons as it is essential for the stability and normal function of the cell membranes of excitable tissues, such as nerve and muscle. Some herbs such as Valerian are known for sedative qualities and the ability to relax the central nervous system and the smooth muscle groups. Chamomile is known for its soothing, relaxing and restorative properties, as well. Always consult your vet.

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Pain Management Options for Horses

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Stem Cell Research for Horses

Stem Cell Research To Benefit Horse Owners And Trainers
Stem Cell Research to Revolutionize Equine Lameness Therapies

Foundation backs 17 horse research projects in 2011

"Stem Generation of Equine Induced Pluripotent Cells for Regenerative Therapy
Dr. Lisa Fortier, Cornell University - First Year
Stem cell based therapies are among avenues being tested with the goal of tendon cell regeneration to address tendonitis. The types of stem cells used so far may improve the structure of tendon healing, but appear to have limited regenerative ability or are limited due to potential issues of immune rejection. The author explains that, '... this proposal is to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from equine adult dermal fibroblasts. iPS cells are the only stem cells that are both pluripotenent and autogenous, making them the most useful for clinical application. The expectation is that the results of the studies in this proposal will provide the first published description of the generation and characterization of equine iPS cells.' This is part of a process of testing the overall hypothesis that equine iPS cells will enhance tendon regeneration in cases of tendonitis. Also, 'the technical expertise gained in this study could be used in the future to generate autogenous iPS cells for use in equine cartilage and neuronal regeneration studies.'"
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