R&R: Lucky’s Progress

If you’re just joining us, welcome to the story of Lucky & Sky, the test subjects in the Rehabilitate & Recover program. The core focus of the R&R program is to educate equine professionals such as veterinarians, trainers, competitors, shippers, and others on the Draper Therapies products and how they work to help your horses recover after competitions for faster recovery time. When my horses Sky and Lucky injured themselves recently, they became the test subjects in an even more intense use for R&R: in this case recovery from severe, and potentially career (and life)-ending injuries.

This is Lucky’s story, my 17 year old OTTB who severely cut his leg in a freak pasture accident back in May. Since then there have been a few setbacks, including a cut heel due to the “rooster incident” when a rooster startled him and he got his heel caught under the barnyard door, as well as some smaller setbacks, such as “but mom, it’s itchy so I scratched the scab off!”

Today, Lucky’s bandage was changed and everything is healing well. It’s granulated tissue with no bleeding, and both the leg and the other hind hoof are in the latter states of regrowth. Even the damaged coronary band is growing back! We’re doing wet to dry bandages with a coating of granules spray and it seems to be working. Lucky is mostly sound, and today he also got to be reintroduced to turnout.

For the past few months, he had limited turnout, weather permitting, in the so called injury paddock. It’s a small paddock with a shed good for 1-2 horses that shouldn’t be running around too much. While rehabbing, Lucky and Sky got to go out there together, but in the past few weeks it became increasingly apparent that Lucky was in no mood for “limited turnout” any longer.

So after a bandage change, a week off antibiotics (risk of infection is minimal if at all since both wounds are now closed), and a clean bill of health coupled with one too many romps around the small paddock that threatened to get Sky worked up (and with damaged suspensors, rest for him is a MUST!), it was on to bigger and better things – a slightly larger turnout with two mares!

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Lucky and Sky have been causing trouble in turnout together for many years…it was time to separate them before they were back up to their old antics!

After the bandage change, the tranq had mostly worn off, but with just enough left in Lucky to keep him calm. I already knew he’d get along with the girls, as he’d been out with them in the past. Added bonus is that one of them is a chestnut mare – his favorite because she’s the same color as he is! Out he went – and so far, so good. Sitting here from the patio, it looks like he’s enjoying his larger digs, and the company of the ladies. He’ll still be coming in at night, with Draper recovery wraps over the bandage to keep circulation going and healing progressing at the amazing rate is has been. I will continue to monitor the wounds, but considering that we’re just one month post the hoof injury and it’s as healed as the leg which was taking much longer, I am incredibly happy with the progress! And in the meantime, Sky has a new paddock mate to keep him company while he recoups.

Check back for more on Sky’s progress, and the final installment several weeks down the road on Lucky’s story as they both head down the road to recovery!

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R&R: Sky’s Progress at Clermont’s NYEF

If you’re just joining us, welcome to the story of Lucky & Sky, the test subjects in the Rehabilitate & Recover program. The core focus of the R&R program is to educate equine professionals such as veterinarians, trainers, competitors, shippers, and others on the Draper Therapies products and how they work to help your horses recover after competitions for faster recovery time. When my horses Sky and Lucky injured themselves recently, they became the test subjects in an even more intense use for R&R: in this case recovery from severe, and potentially career (and life)-ending injuries.

Today I am going to update you on Sky’s story (don’t worry, Lucky’s update will be next!). Last time I posted, I had mentioned that Sky was away at rehab where he was receiving state of the art care at a top notch facility in NY State. That facility is Clermont Farm’s New York Equine Fitness Center located just outside of Saugerties. It’s also home to the only hyperbaric oxygen chamber in New England, and a key location between major racetracks (Saratoga and Aqueduct), horse show grounds (HITS, Vermont), and travel routes (horses shipping from New England internationally often fly out of Newark Liberty Airport and pass right by NYEF).

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Because we have an older smaller trailer, Sky shipped to rehab in Draper Recovery Wraps for maximum protection and support.

Sky got to spend the entire month of August at Clermont, which is a stunningly beautiful facility that offers the best in equine rehabilitative care. He was shipped in with his Draper Therapies Recovery Wraps, his Draper Stable Sheet, and his Draper Anti-Sweat Sheet so that he would be comfortable whatever the weather, and to help reinforce all the positive increases in circulation that the spa and chamber would deliver. Everyone at NYEF was familiar with the concept of rehabilitative fabrics, but they had never had direct experience with Draper before Sky arrived. They loved the look and feel of the products, and how positively they seemed to reinforce Sky’s therapy while there. And so they inquired about incorporating Draper Therapies into their own R&R program, previously called Race & Recover.

Clermont’s NYEF was working on revamping their R&R program to expand beyond just race horses, to include performance horses such as Sky, since after all, injuries don’t just happen to racehorses. Draper’s Rehabilitate & Recover program was a great match with the R&R at Clermont’s NYEF, and together, they complimented each other. Far better than using plain standing wraps before and after spa and hyperbaric treatments, Draper’s wraps offered increased circulation that kept the benefits of the spa and hyperbaric treatments going long after the horse was back in their stall.

Fast forward to today, September 16th. Sky has been home since the first week of the month. He still wears his Draper Therapies wraps and sheet at night, and we alternate with also using Equiflexsleeve (another great R&R product – more on that to come!). He had his suspensories injected by the vet two weeks ago and is continuing his recovery. We are taking it slowly in the hopes of a full return to competition next year, and for now it’s taking it day by day and keeping him calm and comfortable – and we’re incredibly thankful for Draper’s help with all of that!

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Clermont Farm, Home to NY Equine Fitness Center where Sky spent a month in rehab.

Check back soon for more on Lucky’s story and progress as he also is on the road to recovery. Have you had a horse on layup that needed serious R&R? We’d love to hear your experiences and have you share your stories in the comments below!

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The Rehabilitate & Recover Program in the Treatment of Major Injuries

Welcome to the story of Lucky & Sky, the test subjects in the Rehabilitate & Recover program. The core focus of the R&R program is to educate equine professionals such as veterinarians, trainers, competitors, shippers, and others on the Draper Therapies products and how they work to help your horses recover after competitions for faster recovery time. When my horses Sky and Lucky injured themselves recently, they became the test subjects in an even more intense use for R&R: in this case recovery from severe, and potentially career (and life)-ending injuries.

On May 19th, my 17 year old OTTB Lucky tore open his leg in a pasture accident at the site of an old scar, leaving a rather large, unsuturable skin flap. While Lucky sustained a back injury years ago that left him only light-riding sound, this leg injury is an even more serious concern for us. Sky, my 16 year old OTTB and main jumper/hunter pace partner was recovering from a muscle pull. When starting back into work, he damaged a suspensory, probably also in the pasture as best as we could tell. He’s happiest when in steady work, 4-5 days a week, and showing and competing at least 2-3 times a month. Inactivity is not something Sky does well. With stall rest, regular leg wrapping, and close care in order for both boys, keeping them calm and quiet in the stalls has been the biggest challenge.

Lucky is happy to be rehabbing at home, and always excited for carrots and treats from visitors!

Lucky is happy to be rehabbing at home, and always excited for carrots and treats from visitors!

As if leg wrapping wasn’t important enough, in the cases that both horses are experiencing, keeping circulation going to help each horses’ injury site healing is going to be a very important factor in how quickly and completely they recover. To date, neither horse has been on any regular bute, and they are both having minimal to no swelling. Lucky is living in his Draper Recovery Wraps 24/7 over the pressure bandage, while Sky gets to rotate between Draper at night and ice wraps during the day. In addition, Sky is prone to stiffness when he’s not turned out – he’s used to 6 hours a day or more – so he’s been in his Draper Therapies Stable Sheet at night, along with his hock boots whenever those hocks seem a little creaky from all this time in the stall. I know we’re just a few months into our road to recovery, but both horses are high strung TBs and are dealing with things very well so far. Hopefully we can continue on this path, and with the Rehabilitate & Recover plan in place, I’m hoping both boys are on their way to sound sooner than the original 12mo+ prognosis.

Since May, Lucky has had a few setbacks, that include reopening the wound, and just yesterday cutting off a chunk of hoof in a freak accident in the barnyard that took the heel bulb off to the bone on the underside of the barn door. He is rehabbing at home under the close care of myself, my barn staff, and my vet, to minimize the risk of infection and maximize the chance for the bone, hoof, and skin to regrow while the other leg continues healing (it’s been going really well!).

Sky has been off at rehab for August at the New York Equine Fitness Center at Clermont Farms in New York. It’s a state of the art rehabilitation center with the an equine saltwater spa from EquineSpa.com, and the only hyperbaric oxygen chamber in New England. He returns home in a week when we hope to have more updates, ultrasound on those hind suspensories, and we plan to inject the right hind, which had the older scarred suspensory that wasn’t responding as well to treatment as the newer left hind which shows signs of a more complete recovery.

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Sky enjoying his spa treatment!

Keep following Sky and Lucky’s story on their road to recovery and learn more about how the Rehabilitate & Recover program can help you and your horses. To learn more about becoming a part of the Rehydrate & Recover program, drop us a line! You can email Becky from Draper Therapies at Becky@DraperTherapies.com or call (781) 828-0029 ext. 3448.

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, News, Rehabilitate & Recover | Leave a comment

The Beginnings of Recovery with R&R

Welcome to the story of Lucky & Sky, the test subjects in the Rehabilitate & Recover program. The core focus of the R&R program is to educate equine professionals such as veterinarians, trainers, competitors, shippers, and others on the Draper Therapies products and how they work to help your horses after competitions for faster recovery time. When my horses Sky and Lucky injured themselves this year, they became the test subjects in an even more intense use for R&R: in this case recovery from severe, and potentially career-ending injuries. Follow along as Lucky heals from a dramatic hind leg laceration along with a hoof and heel bulb bone laceration, and Sky rehabs two damaged hind suspensories.

Rehabilitating any injury is a challenge, and when it comes to dealing with two horses on layup at the same time – for an extended amount of time – it’s almost become my full time job. Both injuries initially occurred at the end of May, and since Sky’s suspensory injuries are the slower-healing, today we’ll focus on where this all started, and what we’ve done up until this point. Next blog we’ll tell Lucky’s story.

Sky was diagnosed with damaged hind suspensories at the end of May, and we immediately went to strict stall rest. Days were ice wraps on / off from about 10AM – 5PM. Nights were Draper Therapies Recovery Wraps all around. We didn’t ultrasound right away because in the short term, the goal was to get him more comfortable and the treatment would be the same regardless of the severity of the damage, so we figured waiting til he was more comfortable made more sense to see how we’d progressed.

Things were going okay until Sky developed an abscess in the frog of his right hind. Originally the left hind was the more damaged suspensory, and now with this seemingly minor complication, it added a major monkey wrench into the plans. He started bearing nearly all of his weight on the worse suspensory – that left hind – and was in extreme pain. We went from treating with just banamine to adding in xylazine to keep him comfortable as it was apparent that the left suspensory was suffering major damage from bearing the brunt of his hind weight. In addition, he was on several supplements. SmartPak’s Smart Tendon, Jet Breath (a traditional racing supplement that increases oxygen in the lungs and blood that would help get more oxygen and circulation to the tendons and ligaments as well – areas that have little blood flow to begin with, which causes the slow healing time), and bute for pain as needed.

Fortunately he needed very little bute, as he has a sensitive stomach, and we were able to make it through the really rough days of that abscess. An old farrier trick a friend shared with me was to clean it and spray Blue Kote on it to dry it out faster and it worked! So now we do Blue Kote almost daily when he gets his feet picked out and *knock on wood* we have been abscess free since!

Throughout the summer we did the usual ice, hand walking, wrapped at night, and stall rest and saw some progress, but things got tricky when August came and I had travel scheduled for work as well as for vacation (I go camping with my off track Arab and trail ride every August). I didn’t have anyone that was able to provide the same level of care and wrapping and daily attention to Sky as I could, and seeing as how he’s such a finicky horse, I really needed someone who could deal with a picky, moody, sensitive, over-dramatic (he once fell to his knees when the farrier picked an old scab off his pastern…) horse.

And then I remembered that my friend was managing a high end rehab facility just an hour and a half north of me, and had room in her barn. She specializes in TBs (on the track as well as off), and could wrap legs blindfolded. She’s also seen her fair share of leg injuries, and coupled with their state of the art facility, I knew he’d be in good hands. So, I made arrangements and Sky was packed up like a kid heading to summer camp for the next adventure in his R&R.

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Sky on one of his daily hand walks.

Check back soon for the background on Lucky’s story, as well as the next chapter in Sky’s rehab!

Posted in A Day In the Life of the Draper Therapies Team, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, Rehabilitate & Recover, Therapy Topics | Leave a comment

The Healing Power of Draper

When any horse is recovering from competition, active work, racing, or any other strenuous activity, muscle and joint recovery are key components. The sooner a horse can recover, the sooner they can return to active work, whatever their discipline. To that end, some products can be found in my barn at any time that I swear by: Draper Therapies recovery wraps, anti-sweat sheet, and stable sheet, which help to get my horses feeling better, faster.

For those of you that don’t know me, it’s CJ here, and I’m a marketer a well as an equestrian and have had the opportunity to work with and test many brands over the years.  Currently I also have two horses on layup, and finding the best products to rehabilitate them is my top priority right now.  As a marketer, I’ve been working with Draper Therapies on a new program called Rehabilitate & Recover in which we work directly with veterinarians, trainers, and professionals in the equine industry (including transporters and shipping companies, saddle fitters, and more) to educate them on the products both brands make, discuss how they can use them in their lines of work to help the horses in their care, and offer them the ability to sell products directly to their clients without needing to stock large amounts of inventory. For many horse owners, whether transporting, showing, competing, or even racing, allowing muscles to recover post-workout is one of the most important factors that go into overall recovery time. This factor becomes even more significant in the case of injuries. When the situation arose just days apart with my horses, it seemed that I was naturally the best test user of this new program.

Sky is rehabbing damaged hind supensories at NYEF at Clermont Farms as a part of the Draper Therapies R&R Program

Sky is rehabbing damaged hind supensories at NYEF at Clermont Farms as a part of the Draper Therapies R&R Program

So for the next few months, you can follow our story here and learn more about my boys Lucky and Sky, and how R&R works for them. We will be testing everything first hand in their recoveries and sharing it on the Draper Therapies blog. As for Rehabilitate & Recover, whether you’re a professional in the equine industry, a horse owner rehabilitating a horse, or just interested in learning more about how these products work, drop us a line! You can email Becky from Draper Therapies at Becky@DraperTherapies.com or call (781) 828-0029 ext. 3448..

We’re also working on a new program for R&R working exclusively with the New York Equine Fitness Center at Clermont Farms, home to the only hyperbaric oxygen chamber in New England, and a state of the art rehabilitation facility to take R&R to the next level. Stay tuned for more updates, additional brands being added to the R&R program, and some exciting packages for horses in the New England area that go to NYEF at Clermont for the best in rehab care!

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The Beautiful Clermont Farms, home to NYEF Rehab Center

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2014 Fall Schedule

As most of you know, with horse shows the season is never REALLY over. That means our season isn’t over either! Here’s where you can find us this fall (horse shows, trade shows, and everywhere else!).

9/13-9/14: American Field, Boston MA

“American Field is a pop-up exhibition & market featuring the best of U.S. made clothing, accessories, goods, furniture and the people who make them. It’s not a trade show; it’s a celebration of trade. Featuring vendors, music, food, drink, live demos, workshops, speakers and more.” For details visit American Field.

9/17-9/21: New England Dressage Association Fall                                           Festival, Saugerties NY                              

“NEDA is once again hosting the largest American dressage competition September 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 at HITS on the Hudson in Saugerties NY. Well over 600 horses will compete in classes from Training Level, the first step on the dressage ladder, to Grand Prix, the pinnacle of the sport as seen at the Olympic Games.

Secondly, this event is one of the few internationally recognized American competitions (CDI-W Y/J Saugerties) where competitors earn scores toward representing their countries at the World Games, the Olympics and other international events.
Thirdly, the Sport Horse Breed Show features weanlings to stallions, shown in hand. There are special classes for Amateur Handlers, for specific breeds, and for ponies. New this year: a Three Year Old Prospect Award. On Friday morning winners will be selected for the
USDF Breeders Championship New England Series also sponsored by Great American.” For details visit the NEDA page.

9/27: Woofstock 2014, Hudson MA

“Dogs, Live Music, Vendors, Raffles Sponsored by Buddy Dog Humane Society of Sudbury” For details visit the Buddy Dog Humane Society page.

 

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Tip to Beat Summer Headaches

If you’re anything like me, chances are the heat can really get to you. Between hot humid weather in the north east, and a chronic tense back and neck, headaches pretty much go hand in hand with summer heat, and trust me, I’d rather it not.

Headaches are tricky things. For such a common ailment, it’s amazing to me that we don’t know more about the causes, how to make them go away, or stop coming on all together. I do know for me at least that there are a few main triggers: allergies, heat, and neck/back tenseness. I’ve tried just about everything out there to no avail, because, unless I want to take meds for all three triggers, there’s really nothing that will address them together. Here’s a few tips on what helps me.

  1. Stay hydrated. This may go without saying, but it’s just as true for us as it is for our four legged friends. Staying hydrated helps the body deal with allergens like pollen, and keeps dehydration from setting in, which is another cause for headaches in the heat.
  2. Stretch. Keeping my neck and back muscles loose and moving always helps. I work at a computer most of the day, so taking breaks to go for walks, hiking when I can, and just getting up to stretch always helps.
  3. Keep cool. Ahh, if only this were easier, but it’s an important part of the equation. A cool towel around the back of the neck can make a huge difference in keeping the body cooler in hot temps. Make sure it’s not too wet, otherwise it can inhibit sweating, making you even hotter.
  4. Stop squinting! Really! Not only does it give you wrinkles, it can give you headaches too. Grab a hat and/or sunglasses and let your brow and eyes relax. I bet you don’t even realize how much you squint throughout the day on bright sunny days, even when you’re sitting in the shade. Start paying attention to this, and then grab that hat or sunglasses and let your head relax.
  5. Speaking of hats…keep your head covered when in the sun. It may seem counterintuitive, but wearing a hat to keep your head out of the direct sunlight can be a huge help. I’ve even been known to jump in the pool with a hat on my head so that I can keep it out of the sun.

If all of the above fails, and you still wind up with a headache, the best tip I’ve ever heard was cool the head and heat the feet. It draws the excess blood flow out of the skull where it’s causing the pressure and pain of the headache, and down to the feet. Personally I love my Draper neck wrap. I leave the lavender one in the freezer so that I can throw that around my neck and the eye pillow on my head to cool down. Then with Draper socks, it helps pull the circulation around my feet. Usually in about 10 – 15 minutes I can feel the easing of the headache.

I’ve got a lot of friends that get headaches as well, and my favorite gift to them is the Draper trio of eye pillow, neck wrap, and socks. So far, everyone’s said they love theirs and feel like it’s helping.

Do you get summer headaches? What do you do to beat the heat? Share your tips and tricks and let us know what works best for you!

Make your day at the beach go from this…

…to this!

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Bute & Banamine®: Commonly Used & Misused in Horses

I came across this article on the proper uses and dangers of Banamine and Bute and wanted to share. As I was reading this article, I couldn’t help thinking “But Celliant could help with that!” (not for colic but for leg swelling and other injuries).

Enjoy :)

Becky

 

” ‘Hey Doc… my horse has been colicky since last night. I gave her some Banamine® and she seemed OK for a while, but now she doesn’t look so good…’

This scenario is unfortunately still common in my vet practice.  Although my established clients know to call me before administering these medications, there are many horse owners who regularly use these two common but poorly understood prescription drugs without any veterinary guidance. Often, things work out fine, but in some cases, unguided use of this drug causes catastrophic results.

“Bute” (phenylbutazone) and Banamine® (flunixin meglumine) are the most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in the horse. They are very useful drugs used for a variety of conditions and signs.

The NSAIDS for horses are prescription drugs, meaning that they can only be bought legally with a veterinarian’s prescription. Despite this, they are found everywhere in the horse world, and they are often administered to horses without veterinary oversight and without any knowledge of drug action or potential side effects.

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION & WHY STOP IT?

Inflammation is a natural, intricate series of biochemical reactions that takes place in all animals as a response to injury. Inflammation, the first stage of healing, involves complex reactions between local damaged cells, blood vessels, inflammatory cells and biochemical signals sent and received from cells both near the site of injury and far from it. The first results of inflammation include opening of blood vessels to the area (reddening and heat), increased leakiness of blood vessels (swelling), and attraction of infection fighting white blood cells to the site.

Products of inflammation include prostaglandins and other inflammatory “mediators” that help bring about these effects.  Some of these mediators directly cause pain. All of these products of inflammation are intended to rid the body of infection or injury, and to prepare it to for healing.

Inflammation is a natural process and it is critical for survival. The problem is that often this process becomes excessive, creating a vicious cycle and causing more tissue damage and pain than the injury itself might.

This is where anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful. Their role is to dampen inflammation by reducing the formation of these mediators, and thus reducing the signs of disease (swelling, pain and fever, for example) while still allowing healing to take place.

NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS – “NSAIDS”

Bute and Banamine® both belong to a class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (“NSAIDS”), which includes familiar human drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Less commonly used equine drugs in this class are firocoxib (Equioxx) ketoprofen, carprofen, naproxen and many others.

These drugs moderate inflammation by stopping the formation of prostaglandins, which are pivotal mediators of inflammation.  By doing this, they also reduce the formation of certain pain-causing products of inflammation. But anti-inflammatory drugs do much more than simply control pain. They also reduce swelling and fever. They have value in treating a wide range of conditions in horses, from abdominal pain (colic) to joint injury and laminitis.

NSAIDS reduce inflammation by blocking prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins come in many types. Some are products of the inflammatory cascade, while others have vital maintenance functions in the body. For example, one type has the role of protecting the stomach and intestinal lining from acid and digestive enzymes. This same prostaglandin has a protective role in the kidney.  Unfortunately, NSAIDS not only decrease the production of “bad prostaglandins” of inflammation, they also reduce the formation of these “good prostaglandins” and can cause problems to organs normally protected.

In recent years, new types of NSAIDS have been developed. Increased safety and fewer side effects are advantages of these newer drugs. They are called “selective” meaning that they are formulated to target the “bad” prostaglandins of inflammation and spare the protective ones.

Currently, the most prominent of these in the equine world in the United States is firocoxib (Equioxx). Having used the drug now for a number of years, I find that it too has a niche in my vet practice. I use it for longer courses of administration or when I am especially concerned about side effects. But no drug has yet provided a perfect balance of great effectiveness and excellent safety. Bute and Banamine® remain the mainstay of anti-inflammatory therapy in the horse.

The vast majority of horses treated with these medications have no noticeable problems from their use. On the other hand, all NSAIDS have potential side effects that include:

  • Intestinal and stomach side effects including gastric and colonic ulcers. Foals are especially sensitive to the intestinal side effects and easily develop ulcers from the use of these medications.
  • Kidney problems. This is especially true of young horses, but caution should always be used, especially in old horses and those that are otherwise ill or dehydrated.
  • Importantly, NSAIDS have the ability to “mask” a problem, making it look less severe than it really is and give cause for false hope and delayed treatment.

For these reasons, it is very important to consult your veterinarian before you administer these drugs to your horse.

“BUTE” – PHENYLBUTAZONE

Phenylbutazone (a/k/a butazolidin) is primarily used to relieve musculoskeletal pain and inflammation in the horse. Bute comes in several forms including an injectable liquid for intravenous dosing only. It is most commonly found in oral forms: paste, tablets and powder. Used correctly, bute is a powerful and effective means of relieving pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, there are potential side effects.

  • Bute is unsafe in all horses at high doses for long periods of time.
  • Some horses are much more sensitive to bute than others and may show side effects to smaller amounts.
  • Bute is considered more likely to cause ulcers, especially in the large colon, than Banamine® and other NSAIDS.
  • Bute is processed, inactivated, and removed from circulation by the liver and kidneys. Young horses have not fully developed their ability to process this drug, and tend to accumulate toxic doses of it. The same concern applies to horses with underlying kidney or liver disease.
  • Bute is highly effective for treatment of lameness. As a consequence, it can mask signs of mild or moderate lameness. A horse with a serious musculoskeletal injury may over-exert, and thus worsen the injury.
  •  Bute is somewhat less effective than Banamine® at controlling abdominal pain (colic) but can still be useful.

Non-veterinarians should not use the injectable form of this drug. It is for intravenous use only, and must never be given in the muscle. It is severely damaging to tissues if even a small amount escapes the vein during injection. Severe swelling develops and the tissue may even die and slough out, leaving a huge open wound that can take months to heal.

Bute at a low dose can be useful and quite safe for long-term maintenance of horses with chronic pain. There are now safer (although more expensive) alternatives for longer-term treatment.

General guidelines for using bute:

  • The best option is always for a veterinarian to examine any undiagnosed lameness or disease process.
  • When you give a dose of bute to a horse without veterinary oversight, recognize what you are doing. You are temporarily relieving inflammation and pain, regardless of the diagnosis.
  • If you do plan to use bute to try to treat undiagnosed lameness, ask your vet for an appropriate dose for pain control and what to look for to determine treatment effectiveness.
  • Confine any lame horse treated with bute in a small area, to prevent worsening of injury due to overuse. Do not force exercise while on bute.
  • Do not use the injectable form of this drug because of the dangers of improper injection.

For clients that understand these concerns: I dispense oral bute paste, powder or tablets to my clients for whom I have a valid VCPR (Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship) as needed for treatment.

BANAMINE®  – FLUNIXIN MEGLUMINE

Banamine® is a trade name for the anti-inflammatory drug flunixin meglumine.  Banamine® was the only brand of this drug available for many years. As a result, the brand name stuck, despite the fact that the drug is now available generic from many manufacturers and has many different trade names. It is available in injectable solution for IV use, a paste formulation, and granules. Although the injectable drug is intended for IV use, many horse owners give flunixin intramuscularly, and the injectable solution is actually also absorbed given orally (extra-label use). This drug is somewhat irritating to the tissues when given in the muscle and in rare cases can cause significant muscle damage and severe bacterial infection.

Banamine® is best known for its use in horses with abdominal pain – colic.  No doubt, this drug is a potent pain reliever and it has extra anti-inflammatory benefits that make it especially good for treating intestinal problems. It is thought to break the pain-dysfunction cycle that occurs commonly in colic cases, thereby allowing the gut to regain function.

Unfortunately, this drug is also excellent at masking the signs of colic, giving horse owners the false belief that they have “cured the colic” only to find their horse is critically ill or dead the next day.

Colic is not a disease but is the horse’s way of demonstrating abdominal pain. If the cause of colic pain is simply gas or a spasm, a “simple shot of Banamine®” may be all it takes to break the cycle and solve the problem.

If, however, there is a mechanical problem in the gut such as a severe feed impaction or mechanical displacement, Banamine® might temporarily make the horse look better but does nothing to fix the underlying problem. Unfortunately, this improvement can mislead horse people into believing their horse has been cured. The time wasted thinking that the horse has improved can be the difference between life and death.

Guidelines for using Banamine to treat horses showing signs of colic (abdominal pain):

  • First, call your vet to alert them to the colic episode and to the fact that you are giving Banamine®. Decide whether or not you will take a wait and see approach or will have a vet call. The safest thing is to have your vet examine your horse.
  • Take away all feed until your vet recommends replacing it. Once the horse looks better, only offer what fits in the palm of your hand, and only to test appetite.
  • Assuming the horse looks normal after the shot, monitor them every 1-2 hours, paying particular attention to attitude and appetite, intestinal sounds, heart rate and gum color. See the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) (for more info on the WHE, see our website).
  • The masking effects of Banamine last 6-12 hours. Your horse could return to colic pain when the pain relieving effects begin to wear off.
  • If a horse seems completely normal and with normal appetite past 8-12 hours post-administration, chances are that the problem causing colic is resolved. This is when slow return to feeding (as per the advice of your vet) can commence.

CONCLUSION

Bute and Banamine® are extremely important drugs in equine medicine. They offer excellent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects for horses. But they must be used appropriately. You should understand the basic concepts of how these drugs work, their strengths and limitations.  Always talk to your vet before you administer these drugs.

A veterinarian should evaluate any horse with persistent colic signs or other illness, in order to diagnose the underlying cause and determine whether other types of medical or surgical treatments are required.”

By Douglas O. Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP
Board Certified in Equine Practice
Thal Equine LLC
Last Updated May 2014
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RUS NY 2014 Fair Series Well Underway

Updates on the RUS New York 2014 Fair Series that Draper Therapies is sponsoring.

Michelle Crawford wins 2nd leg at Afton Fair on Vassar Hall and Michelle Miller takes 3rd leg at Seneca County Fair on Kash Now. 

The inaugural RUS New York 2014 Fair Series is now well underway with three of the six legs completed. The series kicked off at Goshen Historic Track on July 3, followed by the second leg July 10 at Afton Fair. Seneca County Fair in Waterloo held the third leg on July 14. So far, all the races have been met with enthusiasm from the spectators and fellow horsemen, with many thanks to the support of the New York Sire Stakes and all of the fairs’ race committees and staff members.

The race in Afton had 4 finishers and went in a time of 2:11.4, won by Michelle Crawford on Vassar Hall. The race was also the Frank Tingley Memorial, with a cooler donated to the winner from his family who was in attendance in the winner’s circle to present the prize, alongside CJ Millar of RUS New York, who had prizes from series sponsors Horse Quencher and Draper Therapies. The Seneca County Fair race meet was Monday, July 14 in Waterloo, New York. The race had 2 starters and went in a time of 2:12.0 with winner Michelle Miller on Kash Now. This officially puts both Michelle and the horse in the lead for horse and rider points, as we gear up for the second half of the series races.

Read the full story on the RUS New York Blog.

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Michelle Crawford on Vassar Hall in the winner’s circle at Afton.

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Kash Now ridden by Michell3-IMG_6364e Miller (foreground) and Striking Mystery (background) ridden by Jennifer Lowrey in Waterloo, NY 7/14/14

 

Posted in Draper Therapies On The Road, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, RUS New York, RUS NY 2014 Fair Series, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RUS NY 2014 Kicks Off Fair Series With a Great Race in Goshen

Draper Therapies is a proud sponsor of RUS New York’s 2014 Fair Series. RUS is a new style of racing where Standardbred horses are ridden rather than driven, while maintaining their race-speed trotting gait. The series kicked off this past Thursday, July 3rd, at Goshen Historic Track. Race recap below.

The much anticipated RUS New York’s 2014 Fair Series kicked off this past Thursday, July 3rd with a successful race at Goshen Historic Track on their Fair Day of racing. Despite the heat and humidity, there was a great turnout with 6 starters going into the first leg of the series. Every rider received gift bags from sponsors Draper Therapies and Horse Quencher, to show their thanks for supporting this new and exciting sport and race series.

The race went in a time of 2:05.2, won by Karen Isbell on her own Truth In Action. Second went to Admiral Hanover, ridden by Vanessa Karlewicz trained by Janice Connor and third went to Michelle Miller on Kash Now, trained by Michael Miller. The other three finishers included E R Anna with Mary Lu Dolce Conti aboard, Conway Cruiser ridden by Brian Connor, and Lemon Pepper, owned and ridden by Jennifer Lowrey. All horses stayed flat and competitive with a close race to the finish, making for a successful and exciting first leg of the all new RUS New York 2014 Fair Series.

Read the full story on the RUS New York Blog.

Race winner Karen Isbell on Truth In Action in the winner’s circle with RUS New York Marketing Director and Draper Team Member, CJ Millar

Race winner Karen Isbell on Truth In Action in the winner’s circle with RUS New York Marketing Director and Draper Team Member, CJ Millar

 

Posted in Draper Therapies On The Road, Equine Therapy | Draper for Horses, Events, RUS New York, RUS NY 2014 Fair Series | Leave a comment