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View Full Version : Sharps Containers at Horse Shows – Do YOU use them?



Appsolute
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
This is a cross post, because I guess no one in off course uses sharps containers...


Ok… I feel like I am going to sound like I crawled out from under a rock, but here it goes!

I have been out of showing (eventing, and H/J – more C/ B level, not A) for a good 10+ years now. I still jump judge and help out at events, but I am not a competitor, and I usually do not make it back to the barns.

Back when I was showing, I was a working student, first at a large eventing barn (one of the biggest in the bay area at the time), and later at a smaller hunter jumper barn. I took care of not only my own horse at shows, but was often grooming for the trainer. I have NEVER used a sharps container at a show. Not for my horse, or any of the horses under my trainers. I have NEVER injected anything beyond vaccinations, joint supplements (Adequan) or antibiotics at the guidance of a vet. None of which were ever given at a show.

I remember seeing a full sharps container at the Menlo Circus Club (HJ show), but never recall seeing them at events (although I know they must be provided).

My questions are:

What legal substances are people injecting at shows? And by legal, I do not mean things that the USEF has not figured out a test for, because any substance given to calm a horse is in violation of the rule (right?)

Do you give injections at home? If so, what?
The “Carolina Gold” thread had me wondering this. Many people seem to comment about the “over flowing sharps containers”. What in the world are they injecting so much of?!?


Do you have a sharps container at your barn?

Ben and Me
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:27 PM
What legal substances are people injecting at shows? And by legal, I do not mean things that the USEF has not figured out a test for, because any substance given to calm a horse is in violation of the rule (right?)


A few I can think of that would be legal under USEF rules...

Good resource: http://www.usef.org/documents/drugsMeds/DrugsMedsGuidelines2012.pdf

Injectable NSAIDs (like Banamine or Bute given IV)
Legend
Adequan
Dexamethasone
Methocarbamol (usually given orally)

Event horses (even those competing under FEI rules) often get IV fluids following cross-country (and have an IV catheter placed, though that would be done by a treating veterinarian, who should also have a sharps container with them). B-vitamins are also legal to administer IV, even under FEI rules.

AmmyByNature
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:33 PM
A lot of people inject the things Ben and Me just listed because it is actually easier to may sure you are following the rules. For example, if Blackie gets some bute, and Brownie gets some banamine in their feed, and you don't scrub out those buckets and then the next night the buckets get swapped, you can get busted for stacking NSAIDs, simply because there was a trace amount of the drug available to be licked up. Plus, if you inject you KNOW that they are getting EXACTLY what they are supposed to get. No one is dumping it into the bedding or leaving it at night and then finishing it in the morning when it is too close to show time and it would be illegal.

Just because someone is injecting something doesn't make it nefarious.

supershorty628
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:36 PM
Legend and Adequan come to mind for me.

FineAlready
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:37 PM
Well, I used a sharps container at the last show I was at after my horse backed into an arena drag and had to be sedated to have his hock cleaned and stapled up with 14 staples.

But, you know...no showing after that, obviously.

I also know of people injecting Dex at shows...which is legal...but...

And I'm sure that there are some horses who might receive Legend or Adequan or similar while on the road, especially if the horses in question are on the road a lot or are at WEF for the whole circuit or something.

I think there are quite a few legal substances that get injected at shows, actually. And quite a few illegal substances as well.

And, yep, we have a sharps container in the barn at home. Every barn should have one, really.

RAyers
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:44 PM
Event horses (even those competing under FEI rules) often get IV fluids following cross-country (and have an IV catheter placed, though that would be done by a treating veterinarian, who should also have a sharps container with them). B-vitamins are also legal to administer IV, even under FEI rules.

Here is the difference between h/j, eventing, USEF and FEI:

While they may be legal, they MUST be administered by the FEI treating vet. If you, as a competitor is discovered administering ANY medication, even orally, you are eliminated. Even so much as having a needle in your posetion in the staple can result in elimination. So, you still should not be using the sharps containers. And when I compete FEI, I leave all injectables at home.

I have not seen a sharps disposal at a horse trial yet. H/j shows... another story.

As for what a sharps disposal container is, any milk jug or thick plastic container is appropriate. The ones used for medical waste (red with one way lids) are specific for sterilization said waste.

Ben and Me
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:48 PM
Here is the difference between h/j, eventing, USEF and FEI:

While they may be legal, they MUST be administered by the FEI treating vet. If you, as a competitor is discovered administering ANY medication, even orally, you are eliminated.

Thanks for clarifying, RAyers.

DMK
Feb. 24, 2012, 04:55 PM
yes, I keep a sharps container at home, an empty bottle of detergent is perfect.

At shows I do inject banamine if I use that instead of paste bute, and I always timed the legend or adequan shots to happen at the show (usually thursday or friday before my classes). However I'm sort of blind since I rarely see a sharps container, full or otherwise and I'm lazy, so the used stuff just stayed in my tack box tray until I got home and put them in my sharps contain in th ehome box.

Also I've noticed on the few occasions I have seen sharps containers at shows is that a lot of people put the needle+syringe in them. They do fill up rather quickly that way.

BeeHoney
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:09 PM
Appsolute, I'm with you. If my horse is needing injections of something at a show it is either too sore to show or needs better training.

I have a reasonable number of layups, broodmares, and young horses on the farm and so I absolutely do use a proper sharps container in the barn. Broodies need a fair number of shots, layups often require IV/IM meds, and I have no reservations about sedating horses for unpleasant things like mane pulling/ear trimming, but that's usually only an issue with youngsters.

The horses that are in training pretty much only see a needle for their vaccinations, except for the odd horse who is weird about mane pulls or clipping. If a horse is a little sore I give Bute orally or, call me crazy, just give the horse a little rest.

Since I oversee the care of my own horses at the shows, I am around the stable area quite a bit. At one show the trainer I was stabled across from gave EACH and EVERY horse IV medication. I assume it was something "legal" since no attempt was made to conceal the injections (although no owners were around) and I have to admit it bothered me a little--I mean, seriously, ALL the horses needed routine IV meds?

It's time to admit that what's happening is that the hunter divisions have turned into a pharmacology competition.

jr
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:17 PM
beeHoney, many horses live on the road. WEF and Ocala are good examples. Legend, adequan, vitamin shots routine vaccinations, and medication for the occasional ailment are all going to produce sharps. Lots of legitimate reasons for needles, not always soreness or poor training.

FLeventer
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:19 PM
I have a sharps container at the barn. I'm actually lucky that my MIL works at a hospital and I just bring the container to her and she disposes of it for me for free. She also gives me a new container in the interim.

At events, they are not really that common, but at some venues they are in the barns. I have yet to see a full one.

BeeHoney
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:45 PM
jr, I'm completely fine with the regular stuff like legend and adequan and vaccinations (though please, no one is "vaccinating" their horse the night before or morning of a big class). I'm even ok with the occasional NSAID injection for an older/middle-aged campaigner, though IMO I think it is not best practice to automatically give NSAIDS IV when there are so many convenient oral formulations.

But to be blunt, legitimate vitamin supplements given for nutritional purposes should be given orally except in very unusual circumstances, and "vitamin supplements" that need to be given IV are generally given for behavior modification, not for a nutritional deficiency. If your trainer is spinning you a tale that your horse benefits from some IV "nutritional" supplement, I would advise you to investigate exactly what product your horse is being given and why. Obviously there are also issues with plenty of oral "nutritional supplements" that are given for behavior modification and not for a legitimate nutritional purpose.

In any case, I give enough injections to recognize the common legitimate stuff and that's not what I'm seeing. The situation I mentioned above was just an example. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it that a barn full of fancy show hunters eating quality feed all require some special "nutritional therapy" before they go to the ring.

DMK
Feb. 24, 2012, 09:58 PM
Appsolute, I'm with you. If my horse is needing injections of something at a show it is either too sore to show or needs better training.



jr, I'm completely fine with the regular stuff like legend and adequan and vaccinations (though please, no one is "vaccinating" their horse the night before or morning of a big class). I'm even ok with the occasional NSAID injection for an older/middle-aged campaigner...

C'mon, you can't have your cake and eat it too! It's fine for you to give an NSAID, legend or adequan but you want but if the sharps box next to me is "full", you judge? I think you are going to have to sell it better than that...

Honestly, the vast majority of people who show do little more than what you are "fine" with, and while I don't think for a moment we should slack off on the abusers, I feel equally strongly about painting everyone with the same brush.

cada931
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:05 PM
I've never thought of this, but I have access to free sharps containers AND disposal. I will definitely bring one to the barn.

Janet
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:08 PM
At events, they are not really that common, but at some venues they are in the barns. I have yet to see a full one.

Every recognized event has "sharps boxes". They are required by the rules, and it is one of the things that TD has to check.

But I agree they are rarely full. Often they are completely empty. But they have to be there.

Rabbitman9
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:21 PM
under the 2012 USEF rules a show manager must provide one sharps container for every 50 stalls. If there are not stalls then a show must provide one sharps container for every 75 horses that attended the previous year's show. Failure to provide the containers can result in a fine from the USEF.

Check out the rule book on line.....HJ104 Support AND/OR Stabling Facilities.

USEF should test the sharps to see what is going on....that would give them the real picture of legal and other agents.

mvp
Feb. 24, 2012, 10:25 PM
Meh, the discussion is misplaced.

I have used a sharps container at a horse show.

I haven't ever injected anything illegal.

I'm glad those are there: Imagine the poor guy emptying garbage cans who gets stuck. Did he get Hepatitis C, AIDS or worse? I don't want to make that guy wonder.

Atlas Shrugged
Feb. 25, 2012, 12:00 AM
They are there for a good reason.. so use them

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BeeHoney
Feb. 25, 2012, 09:34 AM
C'mon, you can't have your cake and eat it too! It's fine for you to give an NSAID, legend or adequan but you want but if the sharps box next to me is "full", you judge? I think you are going to have to sell it better than that...

Honestly, the vast majority of people who show do little more than what you are "fine" with, and while I don't think for a moment we should slack off on the abusers, I feel equally strongly about painting everyone with the same brush.

I actually have never injected a horse with anything at a show grounds. I don't use much legend/adequan. I only give IV NSAIDs at home for sick/injured horses. I wouldn't blink an eye if a horse stabled near me got some legend, or even some IV NSAIDs. I guess what I'm saying is that when EVERY single horse in a barn needs IV meds to show I feel like something is not right.

This thread is probably the wrong place to be voicing these opinions. The threads on Carolina Gold and Mag would be better places.

I absolutely agree that there should be sharps boxes present per the rules, and also that all needles should be disposed of properly. I also agree that there are plenty of people who are using medications legally and appropriately, and I have a lot of respect for those people. But I disagree that they are the vast majority anymore.

I do think that many owners have no idea what their horses are being given, and I would strongly encourage any owner to specifically ask their trainer exactly what their horse is or isn't getting. It's way too easy for a trainer to tell their client, "Oh, it's just a nutritional supplement" or some "vitamins and minerals" and the owners think that the injection is safe and legit when in fact the trainers are referencing things like GABA (which is indeed a naturally occurring amino acid) or mag (which is of course a mineral).

yellowbritches
Feb. 25, 2012, 10:50 AM
I think part of the reason we don't see "over flowing" sharps containers at events (and a lot of us eventers are oblivious to them, even though they are there) is because even for our biggest events, we are rarely at a show more than 4 days...occasionally 5 (and those are the BIG ones, like three day events, and those are mostly FEI, so the rules are WAY stricter). Often, if we're stabling, we're there for a couple of nights, and then back home. Our horses don't live on the road like a lot of the h/j horses do. Also, we don't take 15/20/30 horses to every event, while the big h/j barns take practically the whole (large) barn. They stable for a week or two or more at a time, so things that us eventers may do at home (Adequan/Legend, etc) have to be done at the show. So, yeah, sharps containers get full fast. Not necessarily for nefarious reasons either. It's kinda the same reason you don't see elaborate barn set ups at events...we're only there for a few days, so we don't need to comforts of home!

I've never injected anyone at an event (that I can remember). I do keep a stock of things in my trailer for emergencies.

I do have a sharps container at home, and use it frequently. What do I inject? Adequan, Legend, Pentosan, banamine, hormones to mares, dex to my hive prone horse, sedatives for various reasons...lots of reasons to stick a horse. None are "bad", just necessary.

Tapperjockey
Feb. 25, 2012, 10:58 AM
I do. I usually bring my father (and occasionally my nephew, grandfather and great uncle) to horse shoes and all of them are diabetic and take insulin.

Janet
Feb. 25, 2012, 11:27 AM
I do have a sharps container at home, and use it frequently. What do I inject? Adequan, Legend, Pentosan, banamine, hormones to mares, dex to my hive prone horse, sedatives for various reasons...lots of reasons to stick a horse. None are "bad", just necessary.
How do you dispose of them? I have a box full of used needles (almost all penecillin) but I do not know how to dispose of them. My brother in law works in a hospital, should I ask them to take them in to the hospital? Or should I ask my vet to take them?

Tapperjockey
Feb. 25, 2012, 11:30 AM
How do you dispose of them? I have a box full of used needles (almost all penecillin) but I do not know how to dispose of them. My brother in law works in a hospital, should I ask them to take them in to the hospital? Or should I ask my vet to take them?

Our garbage collector does not pick them up, but I can bring them to the waste management facility and it goes to the same spot where you drop off hazardous waste. I do not know where they go from there, or if that is every country or what. That's just how I was told to do it here.

PonyPenny
Feb. 25, 2012, 01:41 PM
Who would not use a sharps container? I shudder to think that some people will throw used needles and syringes in the regular trash. Not only have I seen sharps containers near the barns, I also have seen them in the restrooms which is great for people with diabetes. When I was giving my mare the once a month inject-able altrenogest and adequan and legend, I would save up my used syringes and needles and when I went to a horse show, I would dispose of them properly.

goodlife
Feb. 25, 2012, 11:49 PM
I made very good use of a sharps container at my last show. It was a show across the country from where I live, so my horse got an injection of Excenel daily for the three days that it took to make the trip, a shot of Legend a few days out from showing (we arrived more than a week before we showed) and then the same regimen of Excenel on the way home.

If someone had looked in my med kit they probably would have been horrified - I had needles and syringes galore for my one horse. ;)

There are perfectly legal reasons to use a sharps container and I'm glad they're there...getting stabbed by a needle that came from who knows where while taking out the garbage is not a fun thing. :)

rockfordbuckeye
Feb. 27, 2012, 03:22 PM
Here is a link to the CDC's website concerning disposal of sharps.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/disposal.html

And the FDA's site: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/ConsumerProducts/Sharps/ucm20025647.htm

I think you can find all the legal information there.

crazyhorses
Feb. 27, 2012, 04:56 PM
The only shots I give are vaccinations! But my horses are at home. I have given a tranq before to have a horses' feet trimmed (she would literally almost flip over). Annnd that's it. The containers I've seen at HITS here don't seem to be very full. Like others said, the only thing that comes to mind is some joint stuff.

Horsegurlmercury
Feb. 27, 2012, 05:53 PM
A little off topic, but what about throwing out the sharps and reusing the syringes? I know of a trainer that would toss the needle in the sharps box then clean the syringe with alcohol and reuse them. Is this safe? I would be very hesitant to reuse syringes, but then again I'm not a doctor or vet so I don't know if the alcohol actually makes them safe to reuse.

Janet
Feb. 27, 2012, 06:17 PM
A little off topic, but what about throwing out the sharps and reusing the syringes? I know of a trainer that would toss the needle in the sharps box then clean the syringe with alcohol and reuse them. Is this safe? I would be very hesitant to reuse syringes, but then again I'm not a doctor or vet so I don't know if the alcohol actually makes them safe to reuse.

My vet said that if I wanted / needed to reuse the syringes, I should boil them for 3 minutes.

Carol Ames
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:27 PM
YES1

Carol Ames
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:39 PM
I used to reuse, in accordance with my first bosses' system, boil the syringes, as Janet said, then fill with alcohol and leave with cap on until next use; I did that very carefully, until a boarder picked up the very syringe and injected her horse with it, IM;:eek: never did understand what she thought :no:she was injecting him with:confused:; after that scare:eek:, I discarded all used syringes and needles:yes:

SkipChange
Feb. 27, 2012, 07:49 PM
I've used the sharps container at shows for me. :lol: I get weekly B12 shots and I usually do them on saturday.

I've given Adequan and Legend at shows as well.

Jaideux
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:16 PM
Do you know why many nurses change needles between drawing up a medication from a vial and injecting it? Because the needle dulls with each repeated use. Duller needles are more painful.

I'm not necessarily saying that it dulls enough after one use to make it forever useless but... they were not meant for repeated uses (unless you have a REALLY old school setup and have reuseable needles and the sharpening tools).

supershorty628
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:18 PM
I don't think anyone mentioned reusing needles, just reusing the syringes. :confused:

forward ride
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:22 PM
How do you dispose of them? I have a box full of used needles (almost all penecillin) but I do not know how to dispose of them. My brother in law works in a hospital, should I ask them to take them in to the hospital? Or should I ask my vet to take them?

This is what I use the show sharps container for. I keep all my sharps in my sharps container at home and then safely dispose of them at the show in their designated container. :) Hey, I'm paying gignormous show fees, they can dispose of my sharps. :D

Also, depending on the length of the show, my horse may get a legend, adequan, pentosan or glucosamine injection. Legend, for one, peaks at...I think 48 or 72 hours, so if I want a little extra or more comfort on Sunday, I may give it on Thurs or so.

Also, my horse is not used to standing in a stall all the time, so the joint meds are help for him at a show. I don't think this is nefarious. Lots of "bad" or illegal drugs can be fed via grain/powder/paste or even applied topically. Like AmmyBN said, at least with an injection, you know what you're giving and to whom.

I should say, I never inject more than legend, adequan, pentosan or glucosamine at home, so I'm never worried that I'm bringing anything illegal onto a showgrounds.

Herbie19
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:54 PM
This is what I use the show sharps container for. I keep all my sharps in my sharps container at home and then safely dispose of them at the show in their designated container. :) Hey, I'm paying gignormous show fees, they can dispose of my sharps. :D

This is genius! :)


Also, depending on the length of the show, my horse may get a legend, adequan, pentosan or glucosamine injection. Legend, for one, peaks at...I think 48 or 72 hours, so if I want a little extra or more comfort on Sunday, I may give it on Thurs or so.

Exactly. I give Adequan Wednesday, Legend Thursday, Pentosan Friday each show week--no way am I going to give it early so I don't have to "use" the sharps container!

rockfordbuckeye
Feb. 27, 2012, 09:49 PM
No reusing syringes. It's possible that if you pull back and aspirate before giving the injection that some blood may come back into the barrel of the syringe and you could spread blood born pathogens.

I don't think you would want to risk that.

I'm not sure how good boiling etc. is but I am sure there are bacteria that can survive it. Some organisms can survive pretty harsh conditions. Syringes aren't that expensive - why risk it? It seems funny to be re-using 0.50 cent syringes when you are injecting meds that cost $$$$.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-03-25-needles-hepatitis_N.htm

cabby773
Feb. 28, 2012, 07:17 AM
A good solution for a sharps container if you don't have one is an empty coffee can (with the lid). You can even tape it shut to make sure it won't pop open.

An additional reason to use sharps at shows would be for IV antibiotics. We brought a 3 year old to a show (he was there to hack around, not to show) and he got a puncture wound during turn out. Since we were not able to ship him home at the time, we had to give him IV antibiotics daily. This is a good example of a horse that was not showing and still had to use the sharps container.

staceymc
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:18 AM
I'll give you a great example of legal reasons why people use sharps containers at shows: the Crud in Ocala.

Every dang year each horse in our barn seems to get it at some point. There is some annoying fungus in the paddocks here and you cannot avoid it. And the only thing that seems to kill it is a course of Tetracyclene (sp) given over 5 days. And we have over 20 horses in our barn. So that's 100 used needles/syringes right there.

rockfordbuckeye
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
I'll give you a great example of legal reasons why people use sharps containers at shows: the Crud in Ocala.

Every dang year each horse in our barn seems to get it at some point. There is some annoying fungus in the paddocks here and you cannot avoid it. And the only thing that seems to kill it is a course of Tetracyclene (sp) given over 5 days. And we have over 20 horses in our barn. So that's 100 used needles/syringes right there.

Tetracycline is an antibiotic and is not active against fungus. To kill fungus you need an antifungal. Doxycyline/Tetracycline will kill Staphyloccus sp. so if you horse had a secondary bacterial infection it may be helping for that?