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The Rules Have Changed

ArticleJune 2014 The Rules Have Changed | Midwest Veterinary Supply

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Have you heard about the recent rule changes in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and other associations? Horses are now not allowed to compete with more than one of the seven approved nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in their systems1 (also referred to as stacking NSAIDs).

An obvious question is why the change? Well, no NSAID designed for use in the horse was ever intended to be used in conjunction with another NSAID.2 Implementing this rule helps owners and trainers avoid the risks associated with multiple-NSAID usage. Side effects can include diarrhea, loss of appetite, gastric and colonic ulceration, large colon and cecal impaction, kidney damage and right dorsal colitis. Many of these conditions can lead to colic.3

Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, Equine Specialist for Merial's Large Animal Veterinary Services, says the decision to limit NSAID use in competition horses will help owners and trainers avoid some of the inherent risks associated with multiple–NSAID usage.

"Most NSAIDs are administered with a notched syringe with one dose being just a small portion of the entire tube. It is not unheard of for a horse owner to unknowingly give an overdose of just one NSAID, which can lead to health complications such as gastric ulcers, diarrhea, anorexia and renal dysfunction," Dr. Cheramie said.

When trying to provide relief from the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, especially with a product that has to be administered multiple times daily, owners can also inadvertently expose their horses to peaks and valleys in relief.4

How can you minimize the possibility of an overdose, adverse reactions and inconsistent levels of relief? Consult closely with your veterinarian to determine the best treatment option, be diligent about following dosing directions and ask about a product that can be administered just once a day versus multiple times. Make sure to check out your association's most recent drug and medication rules as many have changed in recent years. These small steps can help offer you peace-of-mind and your horse relief from the pain associated with equine osteoarthritis.

One option for horses with joint pain associated with equine osteoarthritis is EQUIOXX®(firocoxib). It is approved for use in competition by the USEF and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).1,5 EQUIOXX provides 24 hours of pain relief* in just one daily dose.6 There are two formulations available, injection and paste. Between the two, EQUIOXX is approved for use for a total of up to 14 consecutive days (of which EQUIOXX injectable should not be used for more than five days). Other oral NSAIDs are approved for only five consecutive days.1,5

*Joint pain and inflammation associated with equine osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease.

Get To Know Equioxx

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 anti-inflammatory 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.

1 United States Equestrian Federation. Rule Book; Chapter 4: Drugs and Medications. 2011;(4):GR401--GR408. Available at: http://www.usef.org/_Iframes/ RuleBook/2012Chapters.aspx. Accessed January 1, 2012.
2 United States Equestrian Federation. Single NSAID Questions and Answers. Available at: http://www.usef.org/documents/drugsMeds/NSAIDFAQS.pdf. Accessed October 4, 2011.
3 Horse Owners Urged to Use Pain Medications Wisely. North Carolina State University. Available at: http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/docs/documents/release_NSAID_research.pdf. Accessed October 4, 2011.
4 The United States Pharmacopeial convention. Phenylbutazone. 2004. Available at: http://vetmed.tamu.edu/common/docs/public/aavpt/phenylbutazone. pdf. Accessed June 5, 2012.
5 American Quarter Horse Association. Show rules and regulations. Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations. 2010:128. 6 EQUIOXX product labels.

EQUIOXX® is a registered trademark of Merial Limited.
©2012 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved.
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