Last Updated on March 15, 2022 by Allison Price
It can be difficult to get your horse to use their medication. It doesn’t matter if your horse is stubborn or suspicious, it is crucial to give the right dosage of medication. Here are some tips to get your horse to take the medicine after EquidDoc veterinarians have left the farm.
- Flavors Many oral medications like phenylbutazone or doxycycline are available in flavored versions (apple, orange and carrot). Sometimes these flavors can mask the medication in horse feeds. If the artificial flavor is insufficient, you can add le slices, carrot slices or sugar-free apple sauce to mask the medication.
- Grinding Pills Your vet may give large pills that are hard to conceal due to their size or the amount they must be given. These pills can be broken down with a coffee grinder, or crushed gently with a mortar and pestle or small hammer. The powder will be similar to the #1.
- Pill Pockets — Yes, there are pill pockets available for horses! These can be used when one or two pills are required. These can be bought from tack and food suppliers or made by you! You can also cut out an apple or carrot and place the pill inside. You can also wrap a piece of banana or a small soft horse cookie around the pill to make it a tasty and convenient treat.
- Dosing Syringe– Dosing syringes are available in a variety of sizes and should be kept in your horse’s medical kit. Mix powder medications with warm water. Then, you can draw the dosing needle. After removing the plunger, some pills will dissolve in water. These can be put directly into the syringe. After the pills have been placed in the syringe replace the plunger and add warm water to the syringe. You should let the pills sit in a bowl or syringe with warm water until completely dissolved. The process can be speeded up by gentle shaking or mixing.
- In Feed You can do this by soaking the feed in water before you place the medication. It is a good idea to have a bucket that latches to the wall if your horse likes to toss their grain bucket around. To ensure that there was no medication left behind, make sure you check the bucket every time you empty it.
- Use dosing syringe to ensure that all medications (powder, pills) have been completely dissolved. This will prevent clogging of the tip. For better control of medication administration, the horse should always wear a halter with a lead. Your horse should not have any feed in his mouth. Before administering the medication, give the dosing needle a thorough shake. Stand on your left side and hold the halter in your left hand. Hold the syringe in your right hand. Gently poke the corner of the horse’s mouth until the halter opens. The dosing syringe should be placed far enough inside the horse’s mouth so that they can chew. This will allow you to initiate a swallow. Also, it will prevent the medication from spilling out. Push down on the plunger to quickly give the medication. Mixtures that exceed 30ml should be administered several times so it does not spill out of the mouth. To ensure that your horse doesn’t spit out the medication after you have given it, keep their head elevated for five to ten seconds.
It can be difficult to administer oral medication, especially if you use a dosing needle. Your success will be boosted by patience and perseverance. Do not hesitate to contact your EquidDoc veterinarian to get help.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!