What exactly is bute? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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What exactly is bute?

Sorry in advance if there's already a million threads.. but I'm a tad lazy after doing show prep all day, haha.

I'm just wondering what bute is... because my instructor mentioned giving Major some before the show tomorrow. I've heard it mentioned before, I just have no clue what it is used for.

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post #2 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:05 PM
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For pain relief like aspirin does for us.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:06 PM
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It is a pain killer that has side effects such as causing bleeding ulcers and kidney/renal failure.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
It is a pain killer that has side effects such as causing bleeding ulcers and kidney/renal failure.
Well, this is really the time where I wish I had control. I worried myself sick over riding him today, even after she said he was sound and the farrier said he was good to go. He favored the leg a lot when just standing around.. but moved like a dream, the best ride I've had so far probably. Hopefully he actually is fine and is just a little stiff.. and hopefully, the bute doesn't harm him. That's another reason why I'm looking for a different horse other than Major.. I feel as though Laura will still take it upon herself to make choices about his well-being even if I do officially own him. :/

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post #5 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:14 PM
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Unfortunately there's always side effects when you use drugs to control, mask pain/lameness.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly.. I'm just at a standpoint where, if he needs pain killers, I don't want to be on him. I know though, that if I say I don't want to go to the show and state my opinion, Laura will just go and say "oh he's fine... you're all ready... your mom has spent a bunch of money... just ride....".

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post #7 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:27 PM
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Bute can be good for a pain reliever, but if you use it on your horse every day, then yes itll cause problems but for a one time pan reliever I don't have problems with it.

Ex. When my colt tore the lining on his pastern and we couldnt get him into the vet till the next day we gave him bute to relieve some of the swelling and pain and then took him to the vet the day after.

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:31 PM
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While it sounds like your instructor isn't using bute in the best way, I personally don't have an issue with giving small doses of bute, when needed, to help a horse be more comfortable.

Most side effects of bute, from what I understand, generally occur after prolonged large doses, like 1gm/day for a year, etc.

My old lady horse has Moon Blindness so, per vet instructions, during an attack she's given 2gm/day which is A LOT.
As maintenance during the summer, since her eyes are extremely light sensitive, she gets .25gm/day (a very small dose) because otherwise she basically feels like she has a splitting headache all the time.
I get severe headaches myself and I know that if I were not allowed to take painkillers during a headache/migraine, I'd probably go insane from pain. Therefore, I'm not going to do that to my girl.


I do 100% agree though that bute should not be used to make an obviously lame horse sound or "ok" for riding. I think of it kinda like aspirin - you take it to be comfortable while in pain, not so you can rock-climb with a broken arm, yknow?
And bute should definitely not be used without a thought to the risks, for my old lady the benefits outweigh the risks (which are small given how little of a dose she gets) but it shouldn't be used as a "fix-all".
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:33 PM
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I believe it's illegal to show a horse while using bute. I know all the shows I attend, you cannot use it, not sure of what association you show under.
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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I agree.. I wouldn't have a problem with someone using it for issues like that.. or to keep a horse more comfortable while waiting for a vet to check them out.

The difference here is that she's only relying on her knowledge, and the farrier's. A bunch of people at the clinic so him while at his worst and said they hadn't quite seen anything like it. His leg was locking up really badly, you could hear a clicking/popping noise, and Damie decided to walk him into the arena to see him walk and he almost fell over. I just think that he needs, at least, a few more days to recover. Just because he seems to be doing better, doesn't mean he needs to be rushed back into things.. he's still favoring it, so it must still be bothering him to some degree.

Maybe I'm just paranoid that something will happen to him.. but I'm still not comfortable about tomorrow.
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