Think Before You Reach for an NSAID for Your Horse

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Equine lameness seems to happen at the most inopportune times, and it’s one of the main reasons for removing a horse from athletic activity. When lameness appears, horse owners are often quick to reach for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). In fact, a survey found 82 percent of horse owners use NSAIDs without consulting with their veterinarians.1 But that may not be the smart move.


“It’s important for horse owners to consult their veterinarian before giving an NSAID,” said Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, Senior Manager, Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services (Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health). “The best option—and the shortest path back to soundness—may be a medication, treatment or protocol the horse owner hasn’t considered.

“In addition, no medication is without risks,” said Cheramie. “Your veterinarian is the best person to help you monitor your horse’s health for potential side effects or lack of efficacy. Keeping your veterinarian involved, even if it’s just informing them of your treatment decision, will provide them with important information in the future if the issue comes up again.”

Your equine veterinarian considers many factors before prescribing any treatment, including an NSAID:

  • What is the horse’s history?
  • Is the diagnosis a simple lameness or could it be something else?
  • What treatment options are available?
  • What is the horse owner’s budget and resources?

If your veterinarian does recommend an NSAID, he or she will take into consideration:

  • Has this horse been given this medication before?
  • What dosage should the horse receive, and what is the best route of administration? 
  • What are the potential side effects of the treatment or medication?

The decision-making process can be complex, which is why most equine NSAIDs are available only with a prescription. If for some reason your horse does have a reaction or fails to improve, ensuring your veterinarian is fully aware of the situation will be a benefit.

Based on your horse’s exam, your veterinarian may suggest EQUIOXX (firocoxib) to treat pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. EQUIOXX is the first and only coxib NSAID approved for horses and is available in three formulations. EQIUOXX Injection, Oral Paste and Tablets provide a choice to fit you and your horse’s needs.

Regardless of discipline, from pleasure riding to top-level jumping, when your horse is lame, it can impact not only your short-term competitive goals but also your horse’s long-term health. So, before you reach for that old tube or bottle, talk to your veterinarian about all of your options to help effectively manage lameness, pain and inflammation in your horse. 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 
As with any prescription medication, prior to use, a veterinarian should perform a physical examination and review the horse’s medical history. A veterinarian should advise horse owners to observe for signs of potential drug toxicity. As a class, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs may be associated with gastrointestinal, hepatic and renal toxicity. Use with other NSAIDs, corticosteroids or nephrotoxic medication should be avoided. EQUIOXX has not been tested in horses less than 1 year of age or in breeding horses, or pregnant or lactating mares. For additional information, please refer to the prescribing information or visit www.equioxx.com

About Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
On January 1st, 2017, Merial became part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group. As the second largest animal health business in the world, Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to making the industry even better at improving animal health. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has products available in more than 150 markets and a global presence in 99 countries. For more information about Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, click here.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates presently with a total of some 50,000 employees worldwide. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is on researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. In 2015, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 14.8 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 20.3 per cent of net sales. For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim.com.

EQUIOXX is a registered trademark of Merial. ©2017 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. All rights reserved. EQUIEQX1627 (1/17)

1. Andrews F, McConnico R. Cause for concern: Evidence that therapeutic dosing of nonselective NSAIDs contributes to gastrointestinal injury. Equine Vet Education. 2009;21(12):663-664.