Drug them up for control?!?!? Good Lord, why?
Yes some bute was given immediately after the injury, for pain and swelling. but certainly not a lot! I think I only gave that for the first week or so, along with cold hosing.
After that, um nothing. I did of course take her off all grain and used a forage based diet along with vitamin supplement. But certainly nothing to keep her drugged up!
Some treats while we hand grazed, but no drugs. That is certainly not a requirement for healing. Lots of hay, a salt lick in her stall. Two buckets of fresh water, deep bedding, and a treat ball hung from the ceiling to keep her mind busy.
Did the same thing with a gelding that was laid up from a hoof injury for 6 weeks. Except for a bit of springiness when we hand walked, he was his usually friendly self.
I would expect any vet to question why an owner wanted to drug their horse. Jeez.
Because a sport horse who's used to daily work suddenly gets pent up in a stall for 3-12 months and then is back to work and will be, as anyone who's been cooped up for that long, excited.
I work with high level hunters, jumpers, eq horses, and ponies that go to pony finals. I have never gotten on a horse - especially in the first month of rehab - without some ace.
It's for - above all else - safety and insuring that the injury isn't going to represent itself or get worse from an explosion when tack walking starts.
These horses are worth a lot of money and it could be career ending if they keep tearing their suspensory open.
An injury in the joint is even worse and more susceptible to being quality-of-life-ending if not taken care of properly.
Also, the use of a low dose of tranq (like acepromozine or reserpine) for rehab is almost always SUGGESTED by our veterinary teams to have horses back to their job quicker, sounder, and fitter.