Study Shows Treatment Convenience Is Most Important to Horse Owners

Veterinarian wearing glove and using syringe vaccinating a horse.
Veterinarian wearing glove and using syringe vaccinating a horse. Kondrashov MIkhail EvgenevichKondrashov MIkhail Evgenevich

Newsdate: Thursday, September 19, 2019, 1:00 pm
Location: PARSIPPANY, New Jersey

Veterinarians often assume horse owners prefer the lowest-cost treatment option if it provides equivalent efficacy to a higher-priced alternative. However, this assumption leaves out two key factors: treatment compliance and client convenience.

Syringes hitting the target for horse vaccinations.

Syringes hitting the target for horse vaccinations

It is often believe that horse owners prefer the lowest-cost treatment option if it provides equivalent efficacy to a higher-priced alternative, but leaves out two key factors.
© 2018 by Fabio Berti

To help provide veterinarians confidence in their treatment recommendations, Zoetis examined veterinarian and horse owner preference and satisfaction between two efficacious treatments, used on-label, against equine bacterial infections. In the study, both treatments were used following label indications.

In the study, horse owners were given the choice of two anti-infective (AIF) treatment regimens:

  1. Intramuscular (IM) injection with Excede administered by the veterinarian four days apart, or
  2. Client administration of oral TMS/SMZ twice daily for 10 consecutive days.
  3. Horses were examined on Day 4 to evaluate treatment response, administer the second IM dose to horses being treated with Excede and, in the case of the TMS/SMZ group, to verify compliance in administering oral AIF medication. The study examined 27 veterinarians from 11 equine practices in various regions of the U.S. In total, the treatment of 132 horses was included.1

    Overwhelmingly, 93.2% of horse owners selected two doses of Excede over twice-daily oral TMS/SMZ treatment for 10 days.1

    The average treatment response scores for both AIF regimens were comparable at Day 0 and Day 10. However, 100% of the horses treated with Excede achieved full treatment compliance, compared with 75% of horses treated with oral TMS/SMZ tablets.1

    Notably, there was a wide variance in the veterinarians’ pre-treatment cost estimate per horse, with the estimated cost of Excede more than double that of TMS/SMZ (Table 1). However, the pre-treatment estimate differed markedly from the actual costs incurred. In the average actual cost, treatment with Excede was just $20.80 greater than the TMS/SMZ treatment.1

In a post-treatment survey, convenience was judged more important than price in the horse owner’s perception of value, with mean scores of 4.3 versus 3.5, respectively. The item with the greatest score differential was convenience, where Excede had a near-perfect average score of 4.8 versus 3.0 for TMS/SMZ. Overall, client satisfaction when Excede was selected had a mean score of 4.7, approaching the maximum possible score of 5.0 (Figure 1).1

This study demonstrated that horse owners overwhelmingly prefer the most convenient therapeutic option despite higher quoted cost. To learn more about the study or the benefits of Excede, talk with your Zoetis representative or visit

(ceftiofur crystalline free acid) Sterile Solution provides increased treatment compliance and horse owner satisfaction when treating equine bacterial infections


People with known hypersensitivity to penicillin or cephalosporins should avoid exposure to Excede. Excede is contraindicated in animals with known allergy to ceftiofur or to the β-lactam group (penicillins and cephalosporins) of antimicrobials. Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. The administration of antimicrobials in horses under conditions of stress may be associated with diarrhea, which may require appropriate veterinary therapy. See full Prescribing Information.

Press release by Mark Crisman, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, equine technical services veterinarian, Zoetis

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