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  1. #1
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    Apr. 11, 2013
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    Default Experience with maintenance dose of bute?

    I know the opinions vary widely, but I'm hoping to get peoples' experience with giving their horse a maintenance dosage of bute long term.

    I have a 17 yo QH gelding with poor leg conformation. I've owned him for 10+ years and lately he's been looking just a little 'off.' I've readjusted his shoeing to help his crooked legs and he's on a joint supplement, but my thought is that this discomfort is the result of him getting older coupled with his poor conformation...and therefore it won't be going away any time soon.

    I've started him on 1g of Bute powder/day and don't plan to go above that dose. I understand the risk of ulcers, but the studies I read showed no long term problems with dosages under 4g/day.

    Has anyone had their horse on long term Bute as maintenance?



  2. #2
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    Default

    I do previcox on my guys instead of bute. May want to look into that instead.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  3. #3
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    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Default

    Yes, you can have ulcer issues with 1g per day. I personally know two that have. I also know one that has been on 2g per day for years with no noticeable ill effects. I think its very horse dependent - some have stomachs of iron, others don't make it a week on bute without issues.

    IMHO, I'd have the vet out and see what your real problem is instead of throwing a long term NSAID at it right away. Perhaps the issues is localized to a particular joint. Then you could do one injection which would provide targeted relief and not risk GI issues or other side effects.


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  4. #4
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    Apr. 2, 2013
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    Default

    I have used it for an older horse that did ok, but there are definitely other things I would rather try if possible. I haven't used it, but a lot of people have had good results with Previcox- may be worth checking into. Also, as was said, maybe try to isolate the cause of him being "off" and try to treat that joint. Maybe something like a chiro would help, too?


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  5. #5
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    Feb. 28, 2008
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    Default

    In my limited experience its very individual. I've known some older horses on 1g per day for years until the end, just to keep them comfortable. My own retiree was on bute daily for a few years and seemed just fine, but in hindsight he was suffering - silently - from ulcers. It wasn't until years later - he had come off the bute when I changed the factors that contributed to his lameness - when I gave him bute after an injury and his ulcers flared up so badly I nearly lost him.

    Having had this one bad experience, I personally would resort to daily bute after exhausting all other possibilities within reason.
    Replaying a painful memory over and over in your head is a form of self abuse. Toxic thoughts create a toxic life. Make peace with yourself and your past.


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  6. #6
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GemTwist5 View Post
    ...I've started him on 1g of Bute powder/day and don't plan to go above that dose. I understand the risk of ulcers, but the studies I read showed no long term problems with dosages under 4g/day....
    And can you link us to those studies?

    Two days on bute, 1 g daily, and my mare's ulcer symptoms come back full force.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  7. #7
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    There are so many options these days that are generally kinder to their systems that daily maintenance bute would be my LAST choice. Yes, a dose under four grams can cause issues, depending on the horse. I have one mare that cannot tolerate any bute...not even a single one gram dose. At the very least, you're risking gastric ulcers, but you're also risking bigger things like liver health and colitis.

    I'd ask your vet about previcox instead, or consider using a joint product like pentosan, adequan or legend. You could even spot treat with surpass if it's just one or two areas causing issues.



  8. #8
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    My guy can't handle a single dose of one gram of bute orally or IV without going off feed for weeks. He can usually handle banamine pretty well and the occasional previcox. He does great on Pentosan for the most part, not that pentosan is an NSAID.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Default

    not that pentosan is an NSAID.
    Strictly speaking it sort of is . . . but definitely not in the COX inhibitor class to which bute and the usual suspects belong.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #10
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    Apr. 11, 2013
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    And can you link us to those studies?

    Two days on bute, 1 g daily, and my mare's ulcer symptoms come back full force.
    Sure. This DVM said, "the lowest dose associated with gastrointestinal problems is slightly below four grams a day, when the drug is administered for seven to 14 days."

    http://www.thehorse.com/articles/101...te-is-too-much



  11. #11
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    Apr. 11, 2013
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    Default

    Thank you everyone. I will definitely consult with my vet about other options that may be easier on his system as a whole. Thanks!


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  12. #12
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    Jul. 10, 2003
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    Just to add to the other's above that I have maintained several horses on long term bute (years) of 1-2 grams per day with no apparent ill effects, but I reserve it for cases when I can't get the horse comfortable for a reasonable quality of life by other means (shoeing, joint supplements, injectables, etc). I would much rather not give it to them regularly. It doesn't sound like you're quite there (which is a good thing!). Perhaps he can have some on "bad days" (if he has those), but not daily? Best of luck with your guy
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  13. #13
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    That article quoted from The Horse is 13 years old. We know a LOT more about equine ulcers and NSAIDs now than we did back then.
    Click here before you buy.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 9, 2003
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    Baldwin, MD
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    My very crippled 1500lb. WB mare is on 3g bute Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun. She has been on this regimen for 4 or 5 years now. I tried previcox for about 4 months and just did not get the same orthopedic relief I saw with bute.

    My little TB mare reacts poorly to 2g for even just a few days. It's just like people - they all react differently.


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  15. #15
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    Aug. 16, 2004
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    My 23 year old, retired horse is on 2 grams of bute daily, has been for 5 years, he also has orthopedic shoes and monthly Adequan, he has never shown a sign of intolerance, not ideal but keeps him comfortable and happy and moving pretty well, yes there are other options but him bute is effective and affordable



  16. #16
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    That isn't a study, and the DVM doesn't cite where he/she may have obtained that "fact."

    As you can tell from others' responses, much less than 4 grams per day can cause gastrointestinal upset, so I wouldn't interpret this DVM's response as factual and written in stone.

    the lowest dose associated with gastrointestinal problems is slightly below four grams a day, when the drug is administered for seven to 14 days.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  17. #17
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    Personally, I would look into other options since there are multiple ones to choose from.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fitzwilliam View Post
    My 23 year old, retired horse is on 2 grams of bute daily, has been for 5 years, he also has orthopedic shoes and monthly Adequan, he has never shown a sign of intolerance, not ideal but keeps him comfortable and happy and moving pretty well, yes there are other options but him bute is effective and affordable
    Sounds pretty ideal to me.
    Click here before you buy.



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