HANDS ON TIPS
I use a lightweight three-rung wooden blanket rack to store my horses’ bell boots and splint boots. I simply attach them around one of the dowels, fastening the Velcro. My rack holds about five pairs of boots. Not only does this keep them in once place, but it helps them dry faster.— Sarah Miller, Johnson City, North Carolina meglumine (Banamine), which penetrates ocular tissue better. Banamine is also commonly used in mild colic cases to break the cycle of pain so the digestive tract can “reset” itself. If gut pain doesn’t improve with a dose of Banamine, it’s an indication that the colic may not be mild after all.
To control acute pain or to provide pain relief during standing veterinary procedures, a common choice is butorphanol. This is a narcotic, so it is regulated much more strictly than many other drugs; you won’t be left a dose to give to your horse later. Some veterinarians administer butorphanol to horses who have severe colic pain ---if the horse remains uncomfortable even after being medicated or the pain returns as the drug wears off, transport to the nearest veterinary surgical facility is the next step. Butorphanol is often combined with a sedative, such as xylazine, which not only keeps the horse still for procedures, but also
enhances the pain-killing effect.
For localized pain control, an injection of lidocaine or carbocaine will provide instant relief for a short time---long enough for a wound to be cleaned, for instance. Most of these powerful drugs can also be given through an intravenous drip in a hospital setting.
In addition to your horse’s situation, your veterinarian’s own experiences will influence medication choices. And, just as with people, different horses
will have different reactions to pain medications. A drug that works well for one horse might not work for another. Thankfully, there are many options.