How to Give Your Horse the Medicine They Need


Medicines are an integral component of caring for horses. Unfortunately, however, administering them properly can be tricky; here are some tips to ensure you give your equine the dose they require. Select the best horse medicine.

Antibiotics come in liquid, paste, and granular forms and can be administered either through feed or directly into the mouth of a horse. They’re often prescribed to treat colic, septic shock, and other serious medical conditions in horses.

Oral Medications

Getting horses to take their oral medication can be challenging. Horses may be picky about eating pills concealed in their feed or sniff suspiciously at food with powdered medicine added as an ingredient, yet giving horses the medication they require is an integral component of care for horses.

Antibiotics are frequently needed to treat infections in horses. These antibiotics work to eradicate bacteria that cause common ailments like infected wounds, abscesses, pneumonia, infectious diarrhea, cellulitis, and peritonitis – though some antibiotics target specific bacteria more specifically than others. Without veterinarian supervision, excessive use has led to resistance developing over time.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide effective pain relief for horses and ponies. Some NSAIDs prescribed by veterinarians include diclofenac, firocoxib, phenylbutazone, and flunixin meglumine; however, excessive use may result in stomach ulcers in horses.

Some NSAIDs can be given orally while others must be administered through injection in the neck or thigh area. If you need help administering one or more specific NSAIDs, consult with your veterinarian first.

If it is necessary to give your horse a pill, first crush it up so it will dissolve in water in the syringe. A mortar and pestle or small electric coffee grinder works well to crush pills into fine dust for injection into a syringe; add powdered medication and enough water to fill and shake out the syringe before administering medication to the horse. Your veterinarian may suggest adding sweeteners such as honey to make the medicine more palatable for the horse.

When giving your horse medication, insert it into the left-rear corner of his mouth. If your horse is particularly anxious or stressed out, holding onto the syringe against your body may help him stay calmer. If you are concerned about his reactions to the syringe, speaking with your veterinarian might provide helpful insight and tips.

Sometimes a horse requires the sedative/tranquilizer Acepromazine. Usually administered orally in a small animal syringe before estrus begins, or in cases of exercise-induced pulmonary hypertension which is diagnosed through rapid respiration rates after vigorous activity, this medication should be given in small dosage amounts using a small animal syringe.

Powdered Medications

Some medications, like Bute to reduce inflammation and levothyroxine sodium for thyroid replacement, come in powder form for easy administration on feed. Others such as Epinephrine used to improve blood flow in laminitic horses must first be ground into powder because they are insoluble; owners in such instances must find ways to make their pills edible so their horse receives all their necessary medication without missing a dose or simply eating around it.

Some horse owners use molasses in their feed to mask the flavor of powdered medications, and many find that mixing their medications into soft food like applesauce or yogurt helps reluctant horses to swallow it. A handful of hay or pollard mixed into medicated feed will absorb any moisture present from liquid sources and will make the mixture stick better together than just a dry powdery mix.

For resistant horses, try mixing crushed medication into another tasty treat such as powdered Kool-Aid that has been mixed with sugar, and peanut butter, or mixing the powdered medication into canned cake frosting glops. These may help ease their transition.

If a horse continues to refuse these tasty tricks, it may be necessary to hand-dose him with a syringe. Although it may initially seem intimidating, regular administration will soon become second nature for both horse and rider alike. Make sure the syringe contains fully dissolved powder or pill and has been properly cleaned; certain medications can be dangerous if accidentally inhaled over extended periods.

Sit your horse on its left side, holding his halter in your right hand; brace yourself against his body using your left arm while squeezing your thumb into the space between his teeth and lips to open his mouth wide enough for you to insert the syringe and administer medication squirted directly into his mouth.

Feed Buckets

Feed buckets are essential pieces of equipment for horses. By providing horses with access to food at ground level, feed buckets help ease the strain on their joints and skeletal systems while protecting them from inhaling dirt or shavings that could potentially cause colic. In addition, these buckets help minimize wasteful feed consumption by keeping grain and supplements contained in one place.

High-quality buckets will be constructed of long-wearing materials that can withstand rigorous use and challenging weather conditions, and offer user-friendly features like easy handling and cleaning for optimal hygiene of meals for horses or other animals. Their capacity marking allows you to easily track how much food has been eaten by each animal.

Superior buckets will offer more than their functionality; they will feature sturdy designs that reduce the risk of accidental injuries caused by breakage, and be produced without harmful chemicals that could alter feed or harm animal health. Furthermore, high-quality buckets will likely be made from sustainable recycled and natural materials for safety and sustainability.

Buckets can be used for much more than simply feeding horses: they can store supplies such as water, hay, and medications as well as hold salt blocks or ice packs during wintertime use and even serve as holding pens for sick animals.

Equine medicine specialists work in numerous environments, from private practice and government agencies to veterinary colleges, research facilities, specialty animal clinics, universities, and zoos. Some also provide mobile services – traveling around to treat sick or injured horses on location.

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine’s accelerated curriculum offers unique research opportunities, classroom study, and hands-on clinical training that will prepare you to become an equine veterinarian. Get in touch with us now to discover how you can become one! We look forward to hearing from you.

Disguising the Taste

Being a responsible horse owner requires many smaller tasks to be done regularly – from arranging insurance policies for your horses to feeding, grooming, and mucking out, these tasks mustn’t go undone. There may also be times when your horse becomes injured and needs medication administered correctly for recovery; thus being well-prepared with an equine health kit is crucial in being an efficient horse owner.

Medication comes in various forms such as pills, powders, and liquids. Most can be given orally by directly syringing into the mouth or sprinkled onto food. When dispensing any oral medication, it is vitally important that a dosing syringe rather than your finger be used; otherwise, you could give too much or too little, leading to serious digestive problems. Dosing syringes can be purchased at tack and feed shops or you can create one yourself by cutting a piece of carrot or banana and placing a pill inside. When administering medicine into their mouth, it’s helpful to place the syringe near the corner of their mouth, gently part lips, and slowly squirt out medication into their body. Reward your horse afterward so they associates this experience with something positive!

Your horse may require fast-acting sedatives in certain instances. When given intravenously, these drugs cause sleepiness, reduce excitement, and decrease response to stimuli like pain. They may be particularly useful during medical or grooming procedures, grooming appointments, and at other times. They’re frequently combined with other medications to promote healing.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Flunixin meglumine, phenylbutazone, and oxibuprocaine are used to help relieve horse discomfort. Available as granular, liquid, or paste supplements that can be added directly to feed or administered subcutaneously into the mouth syringed into their mouth, they may mask lameness symptoms; before making your decision on an NSAID use be sure to consult with a veterinarian first.