Horse sedatives and buying them - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question Horse sedatives and buying them

My gelding has farrier issues. To call them issues is an understatement. It's flat out fear of farriers. I know that you all will say "Work with him on picking up his feet" but that's just the thing. I can pick up his feet, clean them out, do whatever I want and he doesn't care. But when he sees that farrier coming, even when I switch to a different farrier, he knows it's the farrier. His head goes up, ear's aimed right at the farrier, eyes wide and whites showing, nostrils flared, whole body quivering.

This is because the first farrier we had, when I was young and stupid, knocked out his front teeth when he was two and though we were working with the last farrier on being calm, I had to move him home and the the last farrier is now too far away.

So my question is, can I buy a tranquilizer from a vet, can it be given intramuscular, (as it's the only way I know how to give a shot of anything) and how much would it cost, if I can buy it?

If I can't buy it from a vet, what are your suggestions on supplements or other natural/herbal sedatives and calming agents? What works fast that doesn't have to be built up over time?

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:32 PM
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I was asking the same question a little while ago about big Bert, but she was coming up to a farriers appointment having not been done for 9 years After a lot of hard work she was OK with me, and then fortunately in the end she was great with the farrier to, so your situation is a little different. Some of the answers will be the same though, this is something you need to discuss with your farrier, some of them will do their own tranqs if needed, and some are understandably very reluctant to work underneath a drugged horse.

I would suggest that for the first time you may want to either meet the farrier at your vets place, orhave both of them come to yourhorse at the same time, that way you know that you will get the right dosage for him.
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:39 PM
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There is one you can give I M (sorry, forgot the name of it, hopefully someone will pitch in), HOWEVER this shot can make horse even more hyper. I know people who used it with some success (as it doesn't really "knock down" the horse), but I know some horses (mine included) who had no reaction at all or even became worth. My vet when I asked while back didn't recommend it really.

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:44 PM
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Are you thinking of Ace, Val??

It is given IM, I buy mine from my vet, you have to give it to a calm horse for best effect, and as you say it doesn't always work, and can send them the other way, that is why she may be best working in conjunction with vet and farrier on this one.

Again it needs to start with checking on the farriers preference, no point drugging the boy up in advance just to have the farrier say that they wont work with him.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:46 PM
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Are you thinking of Ace, Val??
YES! Thank you!

My vet said dosage has to be very precise (which I bet is quite impossible to do with no experience).

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:48 PM
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I would suggest continued work, but would also consider sedation for a time or 2 so he can see it's not so bad.

I wouldn't use Ace, they don't comprehend lessons while aced and some horses fight right through it. You might talk to your vet about Demorsedan, you can give it iv, im or they make a gel that you put under their tongue. I used the gel on my youngest stud when I first got him so I could get his sheath cleaned without getting nailed. (Didn't have an extra set of hands to hold up a leg) It worked well, not completely dopey but took off the edge enough to get it done without a fuss. After that once he was okay with it. If they do give you the gel, be sure to ask for a set of impermeable gloves.

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 06:53 PM
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There are many farriers that do carry a tranq of some sort in their tool box for just such an occasion, though like others said, that is something that you would have to discuss with your personal farrier. The one thing I have always heard about tranqs is that they often have little to no effect on a horse that is already wound tight and may make them worse. My brother is a farrier and he carries a little thing called a Stabilizer. It is basically a lip twitch that releases endorphins but doesn't need someone to operate it. I know that a lot of folks don't agree with using things like that, but, hey, if it works...

He used one on one of my customer horses that was rather skittish about having her feet handled. He managed to get a shoe on the first front foot with a bit of a battle and she yanked it away a few times, getting more agitated every time. After the stabilizer was put on and allowed to take effect, she stood great for shoes on the other 3 feet, almost like an old pro.

As for the training aspect of it, you might consider talking to a male trainer/horseman that also does a bit of farrier work. He might be able to come over and help you get him used to strange men with farrier tools handling his feet.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
My brother is a farrier and he carries a little thing called a Stabilizer. It is basically a lip twitch that releases endorphins but doesn't need someone to operate it. I know that a lot of folks don't agree with using things like that, but, hey, if it works...
I saw that while I was looking for options for Bert, it looks like a simple enough idea, and I like the fact that you don't need another handler to hold the twitch. I'd love to hear more about it and how it works, and if it is idiot proof
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 07:46 PM
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LOL, unfortunately, nothing is idiot proof, but you are far from an idiot so it shouldn't be an issue for you to use one . I don't know a whole lot about how it works, I just know that it does. It's something to do with the pressure points on the poll and under the upper lip and how they release endorphins and make the horse feel happy.

*shrugs* Something like that anyway LOL.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-11-2011, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
It is basically a lip twitch that releases endorphins but doesn't need someone to operate it.
I had it used once by farrier. She wasn't even misbehaving, but he decided to use it "just in case". I told him it will NOT work on my horse and just make things worse, and he said I know nothing. Of course it didn't work... Moreover he couldn't even get close to my other horse (paint) after that. Needless to say it was 1st and last time I used the guy. And just to add another farrier who came didn't need any twitch. So I assume something was not quite right about the 1st guy.

On other hand I know of the horse, which was twitched for several months and it did work wonder on her.

So my point is not if that's a good approach or not, but that it all depends on horse.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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