Equine Study: Lower Corticosteroid Doses Might be Beneficial

corticosteroids and horses






Anyone who has used corticosteroids for themselves or their horse knows that these medications come with some much unwanted side effects. However, these drugs can be essential to helping your horse overcome pain and inflammation when other methods don’t work. This is why continued research in equine medicine is so important. Check with your vet if your horse is taking corticosteroids. ~ HfH

From: The Horse
By: Frank Angst

corticosteroids and horses

“We need a dose large enough for efficacy but small enough to avoid cell death,” MacLeod said of the recommended dosage.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Initial results of a study conducted at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center suggest accepted dosage levels for several commonly used corticosteroids might be worth further study.

At the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council’s (KEDRC) regular meeting March 12 in Lexington, Jamie MacLeod, VMD, PhD, John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight chair and professor of veterinary science at the Gluck Equine Research Center, outlined initial results of a study that looked at the efficacy and dangers of methylprednisolone, betamethasone, and triamcinolone, which are used to treat ailing joints in racehorses.

The study concluded that the desired therapeutic effects of the corticosteroid treatments, especially methylprednisolone and betamethasone, could be accomplished at lower dosage levels than recommended by the manufacturer and commonly used on the backstretch. MacLeod said as dosage levels increase, more negative side effects were observed.

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AUTHOR: Posted by Habitat for Horses Calaway
5 Comments
  • Sue

    I just read a study done, if I recall, in Europe that said glucosamine is NOT effective in helping senior horses. I pay mucho dollars to buy it, thought it helped them. Does anyone have any studies that shows it DOES help, definitively? Thanks.

    April 5, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    Sue
    I take a joint supplement with glucosamine every day – I THINK it helps. I used to give my horse MSM which my vet recommended – and I felt it helped him. The studies are nice, but honestly, they never seem to prove that the “natural” supplements work – could it be that the studies are more or less subsidized by medical community and maybe that’s why?
    I guess you have to go with what your gut tells you.

    April 6, 2014
    • Sue

      Maggie, I started giving my 20 year+ horses glucosamine BECAUSE it worked for me. I figured if it worked for me, then it should work for them. Because its so expensive, I may cut back/down on it, perhaps skipping it for the 22 year old during the summer.

      April 6, 2014
  • Maggie Frazier

    Got side tracked! I agree with THIS study – have watched people dose their horses over the years – with the attitude that if something works – MORE of it is better. WRONG.

    April 6, 2014
  • Callie83

    I take NSAIDS daily for Arthritis in my spine. I have two arthritic horses, a 23 year old Quarterhorse and a 13 year old off track Thoroughbred Mare. The Quarterhorse’s hocks fused when he was 9 and the Mare has a stifle injury that was never allowed to heal.

    I take a supplement called Osteo-BiFlex every day and if I miss a few days, I definitely feel pain. This has Glucosamine and it helps me. I give the two arthritic horses Conquer which is a Joint Supplement and it does keep these horses comfy, especially in the Winter months. Exercise is important too and climbing hills is the best way to help a Stifle joint.

    This stuff is very costly and if it did not help I would not spend the money to buy it. MSM is great too, but trying to get the Farm Manager to get someone to put on gloves to apply to the joint is difficult. I cannot get to the farm every single day and I know MSM is beneficial but I also know it will not be used to treat my horses!

    April 6, 2014