HANDS ON TIPS

EQUUS - - Eq Handson -

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.

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