Medications

Scenes from around the track on Woodward Stakes day on September 03, 2016 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)

Scenes from around the track on Woodward Stakes day on September 03, 2016 at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)

Even if your horse is in the care of someone else, it is important to recognize and understand which medications or injections are being given to your horse, as well as why they are being administered.

Below is a list of common medications and possible explanations for their use. It is best to contact your trainer if you have any questions about their administration.

Phenylbutazone (aka, Bute)

A common pain reliever and anti-inflammatory with affects similar to Advil for humans. This is a common medication to use for horses with body soreness and to aid in rehabilitation of fractures and soft tissue injuries. Bute is similar to Aspirin or Ibuprofen in humans; despite what sensationalized media states it will not mask the pain of a serious injury.

Banamine

Banamine is another common pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. It is used most commonly to reduce fevers, to reduce a suspected colic (stomach ache, potentially life threatening), and for the rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries. Sometimes it is used in conjunction with Phenylbutazone to aid in the reduction of pain and inflammation. Again, this medication will not mask the pain of a serious injury.

Dewormer

A paste orally administered to reduce the worm load in your horse. There are many different kinds of de-wormers on the market for the variety of worms that can infect a horse and your trainer will have his own protocol. Dewormers are usually administered three to six times per year.

Hyalronic Acid

Hyalronic Acid is a naturally occurring acid that can be mixed with cortisone or injected by itself into a joint. It can also be mixed a variety of other medications and given systemically. Both methods reduce inflammation and aid in healing of damaged joints.

Jug

Also known as a a vitamin jug, this is a combination of vitamins and electrolytes in a large amount of fluid administered intra-venously to aid in the recovery after a race or hard workout.

Omeprazole

The generic form of Gastrogard, a paste administered orally for the treatment and prevention of ulcers in the stomach. These ulcers can become very painful and may cause setbacks in training if not treated.

Lasix

Lasix, or furosemide, is a diuretic administered prior to racetime or to exercise to alleviate EIPH symptoms. For more information about Lasix and its effects on EIPH, please click here.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent an injury or illness in your horse. Please work with your chosen professionals to best manage your horse(s) and give them the best possible outcome.