Bute: More Isn’t Better, It Can Be Dangerous

Phenylbutazone (“bute”) should have a place in every horse owner’s first-aid arsenal to fight pain. However, if a traditional dose is given and the horse finds no relief, research says owners should reach for a different medication, not just administer additional doses of bute.

To test this theory, Dr. Ronald Erkert of Oklahoma State University conducted a recent study using three different pain treatment protocols on nine horses that were chronically lame in a front leg; each protocol lasted for four days. One group had injectable bute administered at two grams per 1,000 pounds. The second group had four grams per 1,000 pounds of bute injected. The third group received a saline injection to serve as a control. Before each injection and at six, 12 and 24 hours after the final dose, the horses were given a lameness exam and trotted on a force plate.

Erkert found no difference in lameness scores whether the horse was given two grams of bute or four grams of bute per 1,000 pounds. Erkert said that though his study was on injectable bute, administering additional grams of oral bute also has no significant benefit. Four grams of bute per 1,000 pounds approaches near-toxic levels. Bute toxicity can show up as diarrhea, gastric ulcers, colic, kidney failure and endotoxic shock.

Erkert recommends owners who give a horse bute and see no significant change in the horse’s comfort level consult with their veterinarian to find a different pain control drug rather than administering more bute.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

The post Bute: More Isn’t Better, It Can Be Dangerous appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.