There will come the point where you need to give your horse medication for one reason or another. When that time comes, you want to be sure of what you are giving your horse. It’s even more essential to understand steroids for horses if you have a competition horse. Some steroids are banned or otherwise controlled, and you wouldn’t want to be disqualified for wanting to care for your horse.
Important Horse Medication Terms
Here are some of the important medical terms you should know;
- FEI Banned Substance
These are substances the FEI considers to have no legitimate purpose in competition horses, as well as substances that could be abused. These substances are banned from competitions.
- FEI Controlled Medication
Controlled medications are substances that the FEI considers to have some degree of therapeutic value or are common in equine medicine. These controlled substances can boost the performance of horses or be a risk to their health and welfare. These substances can be given to competition horses so long as the owner has a form from their veterinarian explaining why they are being used.
The Ten Most Common Steroids for Horses
Dexamethasone is a fast-acting anti-inflammatory. This steroid treats swelling, hives, and anaphylaxis. Dexamethasone can be delivered through IV, IM, or oral tablets. This steroid is a controlled substance and has a detection time of 48 hours after IV injection.
Prednisone is an oral medication used to treat auto-immune disorders in horses as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medication. It is used to treat auto-immune skin conditions and small airway disease. This steroid is a controlled substance with a detection time of up to a week.
This synthetic corticosteroid is used to treat low motion joints. MethylPrednisolone helps to control the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis in horses. The steroid is a controlled substance. The detection time is up to 28 days after an IA injection of 100mg into two joints or 200mg into three joints.
Triamcinolone is another synthetic corticosteroid. This corticosteroid is used in higher motion joints to help control the pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, soft tissue inflammation, and synovitis. Kenalog is a prohibited/controlled substance with a detection time of 7 days.
This corticosteroid is used to treat the pain and inflammation in higher motion joints caused by soft tissue inflammation, osteoarthritis, and synovitis. The corticosteroid is a controlled substance and has a detection time of 7 days.
- Isoflupredone/Predef 2X
Isoflupredone is a fast/short-acting synthetic corticosteroid. It is used to treat skin conditions and respiratory inflammation, but can also be used for Sacro-iliac injections and joint inflammation. Predef 2X is a controlled substance with a detection period of up to 28 days for intra-articular dose.
- Solu-Delta Cortef/Prednisolone Sodium Succinate
This steroid was designed for situations that require intense anti-inflammatory and glucocorticoid effects. The detection time of this controlled Substance is 14 days.
- Inhaled Steroids
Inhaled steroids such as Flovent and Budesonide are used to treat asthma in horses. There is no listed detection time, but the general rule of 7 days applies. Flovent is a controlled substance under FEI rules, while FEI completely bans budesonide.
Nakasone is a combination of Dexamethasone and Trichlormethiazide. The diuretic and steroid mix is used to control swelling in horses. Given that Naquasone combines two drugs, there is no recorded withdrawal time. Dexamethasone by itself has a 48 hour withdrawal period but can stay in the system for over five days when combined with Trichlormethiazide.
- Winstrol and Nandrolone
Anabolic steroids such as Winstrol/Stanozolol boost performance in horses. Steroids also boost muscular strength. As with humans, steroids for horses are banned worldwide for competitive horses.