Study: 27 Percent Of Horse Owners Buy Prescription Pain Meds Without Vet Guidance

A study from Washington State University has shown that more than one-quarter of horse owners in the United States buy pain medications and other drugs for their horses without having a veterinarian examine the horse first. 

Dr. Deb Sellon and her research team used 389 survey responses to draw their conclusions.

Nearly 20 percent of survey respondents have said they have purchased pain medication to use on their horses at a feed store; 13 percent have bought them online from catalogs; and 5 percent of horse owners get these medications from a vet who has never seen their horse. This falls outside the veterinarian-client-patient relationship required in 47 states for a vet to prescribe drugs for an animal. 

When horse owners purchase drugs without having a veterinarian examine the horse, they are possibly missing out on correct information and diagnosis – as well as the ability to ask any questions about drug administration, Sellon said. 

The most common drug horse owners have on hand (87 percent) and administer without a vet seeing their horse is phenylbutazone. Injectable xylazine, a sedative, was also on hand for 8 percent of responders, with 12 percent saying they had administered the drug in the last two years. Xylazine can be harmful if ingested or spilled on broken skin; it’s toxic to horses in high doses.

Detomidine (sold under brand name Dormosedan) is readily available in gel form to 20 percent of owners; the drug is dangerous to dogs. Nearly 27 percent of horse owners said that they have used this drug in the last two years.

[Story Continues Below]


Sellon is concerned that the danger some drugs pose is not being relayed correctly to horse owners, especially when purchased with no vet consultation. She reiterates that she is not advocating for horse owners to not have access to these drugs; she’s advocating for horse owners to know the risks of the drugs and how to store them properly.

Read the study here

Read more at HorseTalk

The post Study: 27 Percent Of Horse Owners Buy Prescription Pain Meds Without Vet Guidance appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.