Best time to give Bute? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-22-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Best time to give Bute?

My horse Venus has a splint and has almost completely recovered from it. However, my vet wants me to gradually begin doing flatwork to increase blood flow to her leg to help heal the splint. I want to give her Bute to help ease some of the pain. My question is, after administering the bute, when does the strength of the bute reach its peak? For instance, if I were to ride on Thursday morning, when should I give Venus Bute so that she receives the best results when I ride?


Job 39:19-24
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-22-2011, 01:57 PM
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It really depends on your horse's metabolism and level of pain, so you kind of have to "experiment" and make a note about how your horse reacts. Then remember that they can also grow tolerant to the drugs when they are used for long periods.

In my experience, oral paste usually shows results in 1-2 hours with effects lasting 12-24 hours. IV will show results in about 10 minutes. (I hope you aren't doing any IV injections without knowing how to properly give it though) Liquid bute must be stored in the fridge and can ONLY be injected IV NOT IM. You can however, save a little money and time for a horse who spits out paste or foams up & drools it out by giving the liquid dose orally. Again, that would take about an hour or so to see an effect. Pills take longer to show results.

I personally prefer Equioxx or Banamine over Bute though.

Has your vet advised you to bute her before riding? I only ask because doing so prior to a ride will cover up anything that is going on and potentially hurt her more. Personally, I would pony her a few times (if you haven't already) walking and trotting to see how the legs hold up and then give an NSAID and more rest if she shows signs of trouble. Splints are relatively minor injury and heal pretty well and fast as long as they get rested and don't go back to strenuous activity right away. If your vet said to do flat work, by all means, do it, but I don't know if it is a good idea to give pain drugs until you actually know there is pain. You don't want to further her injury by letting her feel too good.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-22-2011, 02:06 PM
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I would definitely ask your vet if buting before the ride is a good idea. If your horse has too much pain relief, they may actually do more damage than good. If there is no pain because of the drugs, the horse may be more active than they would if they could actually feel the injury. Sometimes a little pain is a good thing to keep them from overdoing it.

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post #4 of 4 Old 02-22-2011, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Texas
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Yes, my vet recommended this. I have lunged her to see the extent of her lameness and there is BARELY any there. I just wanted to giver her paste bute before my ride to ease the small amount of pain that she actually has.

For two weeks, I have been "medicating" the leg and she is almost completely healed. But, my vet recommends that I begin riding her with flat work.

I just read in Equus magazine's December issue that the pain relief takes effect after 2 hours, peaks at 12 hours, and last 24-36 hours. Thanks anyway! :)

Job 39:19-24
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