Edited News Release:
NSAID's may help mask lameness while reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation, but they can also be very harmful to the equine, whether pet or athlete.
NSAID's can contribute to GI ulcers, diarrhea from colitis and colic, which all may trigger bouts of laminitis. Even short term NSAID use has the potential for renal (kidney) and liver toxicity, and may decrease a horse’s health and performance.
Research has shown that NSAID's may also slow down the healing process of soft tissues. This means that the patient using NSAIDs may look normal and not have pain evident, but the tissue is weaker longer and at a higher risk for re-injury during the extended healing period.
The USEF now requires an “NSAID Disclosure form” to be filed with the Steward/Technical Delegate if more than one NSAID is used during a competition or in the five days preceding a USEF competition. The use of Bute and Banamine together is currently prohibited.
Starting December 1, 2011, the presence of only one NSAID will be allowed! The seven NSAID's currently allowed with quantitative restrictions are Bute, Banamine, Naproxen, Ketofen, Arquel, Equioxx, and topical Surpass.
There are other options available for use to treat inflammation and pain. Many of the natural products are very effective while being much safer than prescription NSAID's. Some of these may be herbal, botanical, nutritional, and/or homeopathic blends. Keep in mind not all “natural” products are safe or effective and some of them will test positive on drug screens.