Pharmaceutical Medications

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work

There’s much interest in ulcers in horses and for very good reason. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) affects 60-90% of adult horses and 25-50% of foals and weanlings. The condition collectively refers to sores or erosions that develop in portions of the horse’s sensitive stomach lining. EGUS is largely a man-made disease: common feeding practices,  …

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An Holistic Approach to Horse Joint Health

Lameness is one of the most common complaints in the working horse, with joint damage accounting for around 60% of these cases. Progressive damage and changes to soft tissue, cartilage and underlying bone in the joint results in joint deterioration, leading to the development of osteoarthritis. This process is generally initiated by joint overload, concussion …

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Supplements: An Holistic Approach

Do our horses really need them? Supplements. They can be a contentious topic. Yet nearly all horse owners, trainers and riders use them at some stage in one form or another on their equines. As a naturopath, I am sometimes asked that if a horse is fed ‘properly’ then does it really need supplements? The …

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Ulcer Medications: What Nobody Tells You and What You Need To Know

The most commonly used equine ulcer medications on the market generally come under names containing Gastro/Ulcer/Guard and contain the active ingredient omeprazole, which belongs to the class of drugs known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)[i] [ii]. These drugs work by reducing (normal, healthy) gastric acid production by blocking the enzymes located in the parietal cells …

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Bisphosphonates (Tildren & Osphos): Time to talk about the Skeleton in the closet

A question regarding the use of one of the above mentioned drugs circulated in my Facebook feed recently. It sparked much interest, confusion and curiosity by different readers…prompting me to write this post. Bisphosphonates are a class of drug which includes both tildronate and clodronate. They were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration …

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Are we creating resilient racehorses or superficial sales horses?

It’s now that time of year in the Southern Hemisphere where the yearling sales season is gearing up. Understandably, much emphasis is placed on the vendor’s side in realising maximal monetary value for their yearlings. From a purchaser’s point of view, finding a top class racehorse is prime priority. This poses the question…are we creating …

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Placentitis: Think about it

Placentitis. It is the most common cause of late pregnancy loss in mares. It causes many a stud manager and breeder a lot of grief. It costs a lot of money and time. And it goes without saying that it has non-favourable effects on both mare and foal. Yet current routine approaches aren’t necessarily addressing all contributing …

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Fibre, Chewing and Gastrointestinal Health

Forages and fibre rich foods which require much chewing, comprise the base starting point for a diet which promotes health in the horse. Chewing results in the production of saliva. Forages and fibrous feeds require more chewing than grains and processed feeds. On a dry matter basis, twice as much saliva is produced when horses …

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Skeletal Injuries: Considering the Role of Bone Density in the Horse

One of the most significant injury concerns for all athletic horses is that involving the bones and joints. Musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause of poor performance and wastage (wastage refers to a loss of training days, either temporary or permanent) in the equine industry. A vital consideration in bone and joint health is …

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Ulcer Medications: The Potential Impact on Stallion Fertility

With stud season rapidly approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, it is important to evaluate factors that influence stallion fertility. Many people are unaware of the potential effects routinely used medications may have on semen and stallion fertility. One such class of drugs is histamine‐2 receptor antagonists, which includes ranitidine. Ranitidine is one of the two …

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Devil’s Claw and Ulcers

Many people are familiar with the terrific anti-inflammatory herb Devil’s Claw. This herb is predominantly used in cases of osteoarthritis and to reduce the inflammation and pain associated with injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Research has demonstrated that root extract of the herb inhibits inflammatory cytokine production through multiple pathways. One major concern for horse …

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Clenbuterol: More Than a Bronchodilator

Clenbuterol is a beta-2-adrenoceptor agonist, therapeutically prescribed to horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD) and recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, commonly known as heaves). It is widely known that the use of this drug has been exploited due to its ability to burn fat whilst preserving lean muscle tissue. Sadly, this practice can severely compromise the …

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Equine Hospital Nutritional Practices

Nutrition plays a paramount role in keeping horses healthy, with the ability to help prevent or manage specific health conditions. The need for appropriate feeding and nutrition practices becomes even more critical in cases of compromised health, such as during serious illness or post surgery. The equine patient has increased requirements of specific nutrients to …

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Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation-Optim-Equine

Nutrient Requirements for Horses: Fortified Feeds and the need for Supplementation

The vast majority of racehorses, performance horses and breeding stock are fed fortified feeds or balancer rations, which are designed to meet the daily nutrient requirements of horses. These nutrient requirements were established by the National Research Council (NRC) and last updated in 2007. The NRC provides the known nutrient requirements for horses by weight, …

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Bacterial Endometritis: Bacteria and Biofilms

Bacteria in biofilms can readily become resistant to both pharmaceuticals and the host immune system, developing a tolerance to antimicrobial agents, biocides and antiseptics. In fact, research has demonstrated that bacteria residing in a biofilm can be up to 1,000 times more refractive to treatment with antibiotics as compared to free-living (planktonic) bacteria. Administering more …

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Vitamin K: The role of Gut Health and the Effect on Bone Health and Insulin Resistance

Vitamin K is a most important nutrient, which is derived from bacterial synthesis in the horse’s large intestine. For optimal levels of vitamin K to be produced, the horse must have sufficient fibre/roughage in the diet and a healthy microbial population and composition in their GIT. Keep in mind that many of the most frequently …

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Fillies, Mares, Hormones and Performance

Do you train, own or ride fillies or mares? Have you previously, or do you use altrenogest/Regumate or other synthetic progestin products to ‘control’ their cycles or regulate their behaviour? Would you still give them such substances if you knew that it significantly decreased muscle mass, strength and performance, and impaired recovery? Animal research has …

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NSAIDs and Ulcer Medications Together? Think Again

Most horse people are aware that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs (phenylbutazone, flunixin, firocoxib, etc) compromise gastrointestinal (GI) health in the horse. This comes about through inhibiting several natural defence mechanisms of the GI tract, which help to protect and maintain the integrity of the lining of the GI tract. Whilst many think …

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