A study from Washington State University has shown that 96 percent of horse owners are confident in their ability to access and administer prescription analgesic medications.
Prescriptions for pain relieving drugs should be acquired from a vet who knows and has a relationship with both the equine and the owner. Ideally, this veterinarian-client-patient relationship ensures that the horse receives follow-up care and that the owner is following instructions for optimal drug safety and effectiveness.
The 389 survey respondents reported they are most confident using non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and alpha 2 agonists. Eighty seven percent of respondents had oral phenylbutazone (Bute) on hand, and 60 percent of horse owners had injectable flunixin.
Detomidine and xylazine were the most common alpha 2 agonists horse owners had access to and were confident in administering.
All of these medications can have adverse effects. Though horse owners may feel confident in their ability to properly administer these drugs, the researchers reinforce that a proper veterinarian-client-patient relationship is imperative for equine safety.
Read more at DVM360.