Bute following a hard ride? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Bute following a hard ride?

Had a long hard ride today for a competition. My boy is usually the first in from the field for dinner, but today he was almost last, moving slow from the ride.

Several people at the barn suggested giving him some bute to help him feel better. They compared it to us taking an Aspirin after a hard day in the saddle.

I don't really know anything about bute, except that you need a prescription to get it. But of course many people have it sitting around in their tack boxes and were happy to offer it.

What are your thoughts on this? Obviously it's not going to be something I give him routinely - I've read about the dangers of doing that. But is it okay to give after an unusually difficult ride? Or is there a better alternative for sore muscles?

Tomorrow he gets the day off!!
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 07:21 PM
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I used to buy Equispirin, which was just Aspirin for horses. It was cheap, came in a big bucket, and it helped. I don't know if it was better or worse than giving Bute, but it's easier to get as you don't need a vet. It did help Ricci when she was stiff after a long ride. I also stretched her legs a bit before we went out for a ride I thought could be tougher on her, stretched more when we got back, and more light stretching the next morning and evening if she needed it. She really enjoyed that.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 07:25 PM
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I'd give it.

Bute does have some long term effects, but every now and then I don't worry about it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 07:37 PM
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My vet recommended staying far away from bute as possible. Its the leading cause of ulcers.
I recommend obsorbine, for sore muscles. Rub it on or make a wash with it. Even I have used it and its awesome.
The choice is yours.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 08:32 PM
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An occasional dose shouldn't cause a problem, so long as it's only necessary every few weeks or less. I'd give it to my horse anyway.

That said- the best 'solution' is to make sure that your horse is fit for the work expected of him in the first place. Not saying that as a criticism, just that if a horse is getting sore often enough that buting them when they're sore is an issue because of frequency, maybe there's another solution to prevent it in the first place or an issue with tying up, etc.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 09:11 PM
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I agree that if a horse is getting obviously sore for work, that the level of work was either too much, or the level of the horses fitness was too low....now in saying that I don't mean to make you feel like you've done the wrong thing. It happens to a lot of us.....like the unexpected gallop across the field after a long ride to chase some problem coyotes away...for fear that they'll attack another one of your dogs!!! Winded horse, sore horse, winded rider, possibly sore rider!

I agree totally with Spotted in terms of bute and it's side effects and also massaging the soreness out. On that note I'd like to add, gentle walking from the ground to keep that lactic acid moving out of his muscles.

Now, if the horse has truly 'tied up' I'd be offering bute, as this can be very very painful, even crippling for a horse.

In my own personal experience, we only ever gave bute to a horse, if it had genuinely tied up and was known to tie up regularly (certainly not a desired condition, but something that can be a problem for a horse regardless of training or feeding) or had a condition that a vet had deemed necessary that the horse be treated with bute. Bute is a prescription med for a reason, and I'd hate to treat a horse without consultation and have something go awry.....

Goodluck wish you well

I would avoid using someone else's left over bute, try walking it out of him and for sure try Spotteds method.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 10:22 PM
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Bute being the leading cause of ulcers is a bit of a stretch. I'd say that lifestyle and overall stress levels have a lot more to do with a horse getting ulcers than a gram of bute once in a while.

Anyways - I prefer to have my horses fitter that what is going to be asked of them at a show or a trail ride or whatever it is I'm asking them to do. This requires a program to build up their fitness. Overall a fit horse who is conditioned on various surfaces in endurance, speed and strength is going to be sounder than a horse conditioned over one surface for one thing. It's important to vary their work every day.

That being said, inflammation is still our enemy in keeping joints and other structures healthy. Before a big show, a long trailer ride or anything really stressful on the horse, I like to give a shot of Legend as an anti-inflammatory in the joints. After the event or trailer ride I will cold hose. Because of competition regulations that's all I'm allowed to do. But you bet once the show is over I will give a gram of bute for the long trailer ride home as well as wrapping for the ride and cold hosing at home. It is like taking an Advil for us.

Asprin as an NSAID has a different mechanism from Bute and lasts shorter term. It's good to give right before a ride to keep inflammation at bay during the ride, but if you are looking for a more long term relief then Bute is better.

On the note of the Absorbine liniment - although liniments like to make wild claims about pain reduction they can be dangerous and have limitations. Make sure you test a liniment out on the skin before using it all over the body in case your horse is allergic to it. Always dilute it unless specifically instructed not to do so by a vet. And even then it's not going to pull inflammation out like other topicals such as DMSO would. It's more of an "oops I rode my horse too hard I'm going to give him a liniment bath so I feel better about myself" thing... Doesn't really do much.

So the long and the short is, give the bute, and work on conditioning your horse properly for his usage. Think about your first time back at the gym in a few months. You can't go really really hard!

Good luck!
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 10:55 PM
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OP, you might find this very informative

Dangers of Bute in Horses
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 11:18 PM
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I like to give a nice warm bath and a rub with some diluted Vetrolin. I use a rubber massager and rub him down well and then I toss on a cooler to keep him warm while he dries. Do it again tomorrow if need be. I prefer to give a little Aspirin and even some MSM if you have it on hand. Hand walk tomorrow and re-bathe if necessary and re-massage him, he'll love it.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-14-2012, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I like to give a nice warm bath and a rub with some diluted Vetrolin. I use a rubber massager and rub him down well and then I toss on a cooler to keep him warm while he dries. Do it again tomorrow if need be. I prefer to give a little Aspirin and even some MSM if you have it on hand. Hand walk tomorrow and re-bathe if necessary and re-massage him, he'll love it.
Good advice
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