EQUUS - - Targeted Relief From -

The morn­ing grain still un­touched at noon was the first in­di­ca­tion that some­thing was wrong with Penny. As her owner took a closer look at the 9-year-old mare, the other signs of colic soon be­came ob­vi­ous: She was sweat­ing slightly, rest­less and pre­oc­cu­pied. The vet­eri­nar­ian soon ar­rived, and after a full di­ag­nos­tic workup con­firmed that the mare was most likely suf­fer­ing from mi­nor gut pain. A small dose of a par­tic­u­lar NSAID might be enough to set her right.

While bute is the go-to NSAID for joint pain, flu­nixin meg­lu­mine---sold as Banamine---is our phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal first re­spon­der for colic. Flu­nixin can help re­lieve pain while re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion in the gut mu­cosa, which makes it re­li­ably ef­fec­tive for colic. In mild cases of colic, this one-two punch is of­ten enough to re­solve the sit­u­a­tion. Most of us have known a horse who will look a bit col­icky, then perk up in about 45 min­utes after a sin­gle dose of flu­nixin. It’s also the rea­son that many own­ers, un­der the guid­ance of a vet­eri­nar­ian,

will keep a tube on hand at the farm.

The dosage for Banamine paste is .5 mil­ligrams per pound, which works out to about three doses per sy­ringe. Banamine is also avail­able as an in­tra­mus­cu­lar or in­tra­venous in­jec­tion. I gen­er­ally ad­vise a client to avoid giv­ing it in the mus­cle be­cause it has been as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased risk of clostridia­l0 in­fec­tions, even when de­liv­ered un­der clean con­di­tions. In­tra­venous in­jec­tions must be ad­min­is­tered only by a li­censed vet­eri­nar­ian or tech­ni­cian due to the risk of a po­ten­tially fa­tal in­trac­arotid0 in­jec­tion.

There is a dis­ad­van­tage to treat­ing colic with Banamine: It can mask pain so well that a po­ten­tially se­ri­ous case may go un­di­ag­nosed. Pain is a sig­nif­i­cant in­di­ca­tor of the sever­ity of colic and the need for surgery. Some own­ers give Banamine be­fore a horse can be as­sessed by a vet­eri­nar­ian, but the true ex­tent of the prob­lem may go un­de­tected for hours, with tragic re­sults. Own­ers must ex­er­cise cau­tion when giv­ing a med­i­ca­tion with­out the di­rec­tion of a vet­eri­nar­ian, and that ap­plies dou­bly for a horse with colic.

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