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Best way to feed SMZ's

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  • Best way to feed SMZ's

    My horse decided it would be a lovely mother's day present to gash open her hip and expose two muscles and need the ER vet to do a farm call. A lovely $588 later, she's drugged up and fixed. She's a very picky eater, will not eat Bute, so I'm pretty sure she will not eat SMZ's.

    I was going to do a syringe, if I can find one big enough..UNLESS..someone has some other magic tricks for picky eaters?

  • #2
    A coffee bean grinder works great for making them into a powder. A lot of horses will eat them powdered and mixed with some senior feed, however if a horse is a picky eater I just give them orally with a 50cc syringe.


    • #3
      Ugh! Sorry about your horse!
      I have a picky eater too. No way she was going to eat the SMZs in her food, how ever well I'd try to disguise them. lol. So, I found some big syringes in a Medical Supply store. I let the pills dissolve in fruit juice (the sugary juice packs for kids work great) then siphon it in the syringe and syringe it directly in her mouth. It's a pain but it's the only way it works for us.
      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


      • #4
        Crush up with confectioners sugar and oil of peppermint and mix with a little water to make a paste. Put in to a 60ml catheter tip syringe and shoot in to the back of horsie's mouth. (just like deworming) 15 pills are hard to hide.
        ... _. ._ .._. .._


        • #5
          You could melt a peppermint in some hot water, stir in the pulverized SMZ's and either pour over food or syringe into the horse.
          "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



          • #6
            Melted in a 60cc syringe. Cut the tip off and use the end of the scissors to twist a larger hole in the end of the syringe. Count the pills into the dry syringe. Stick your finger over the hole and fill up with hot water from the open end until the pills are covered. Then (carefully ) put the plunger in, keeping your finger over the hole, and shake until fully melted.


            • #7
              Any pills my picky eater needs are ground in a coffee grinder along with cherry Kool-Aid (but the store brand - cheaper!) powder (the stuff in the jar that already has the sugar in it, not the packets). Then I feed it to him in a grain that is a little sticky (a sweet feed or a moist-ish pellet) so that it, well, sticks rather than just falling to the bottom of the feeder.

              Other tricks are, of course, to add molasses or applesauce or oil to achieve that stuck-to-the-grain part. My TB, however, knows that such additions are in fact an Attempt To Poison The Horse, and will not eat any grain doctored in such a way. I had to treat him for Lyme twice. It was lovely.

              My mare, on the other hand, will eat SMZs (or other pills) just thrown on top of her grain. I consider this my reward for all the years of creativity with my boy.

              ETA: The second time we treated for Lyme, I needed to give him his first night's dose before I had time to go home and get the grinder. So I shoved all 45 pills into Peeps, four or five pills at a time (doxy pills are pretty small), and he actually ate them all that way. Not that I actually RECOMMEND this method - it's rather tedious and uses a LOT more Peeps than I'd normally hand out in one sitting - but it was darn useful that once!
              Proud member of the EDRF


              • #8
                I dissolve any pills I have to give in a small amount of water, pour over their feed, and sprinkle cinnamon liberally over the feed, then stir it all. I have yet to have a horse refuse to eat cinnamon flavored feed and I've had some really picky eaters. I'm sure there's a horse out there somewhere that will refuse it but it's definitely worth a try before going to the syringe method.
                Susan N.

                Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                • #9
                  I've had great luck with strawberry jam. Even my picky eaters will consume their grain, mixed with the jam and the smz's- I add a wee bit of water in a dish to the smz's until they dissolve, then about two or three tablespoons of strawberry jam, then mix into sweet-feed, or plain grain of any sort. I can get away with about two cups of grain.

                  I don't know why this works, since two horses I've tried it on refused smz's dissolved, put in grain with a lot of molasses. But the strawberry jam has always worked for me. Maybe something about the strawberries disguises the taste of the drugs better than anything else.

                  I've also been successful diluting meds (bute, or anything else) into a large volume of soaked beet pulp, when I don't want to give a lot of grain, but they seem to like the jam/grain even better. Just make sure you do the soaking/mixing of drugs a few hours before you offer it, that seems to dissipate the taste more.


                  • #10
                    I use the powered SMZ now. I have really picky eaters. Really picky. I mix the SMZ dose in a (Brer Rabbit) molasses cut with water then mix with their favorite feed. Yummm! they say.

                    You can make the molasses/water mix and keep a container in the barn for easier on the spot dosing.

                    ETA you can make a medicated slurry out of anything you KNOW your horses will eat. I've heard of applesauce, yogurt, sugar water etc. My horses all have responded well to molasses.


                    • #11
                      For horses that get at a scoop of pellets or more, I add warm water to the pellets just enough to cover, and let them sit in a pail until the pellets get soft.

                      Then I put the SMZ's in a glass and dissolve them in warm water. I then add the dissolved SMZ's to the soaked pellets and add more warm water if necessary until it becomes a mash.

                      I stir the mash to completely mix the SMZ's into it, then I dump the mash in the feed bucket. For the more picky horses I drizzle a little molasses on the top of the mash while it is in the feed bucket (I find that some picky horses will usually nibble at the top where the molasses is, and by the time they finish all the molasses, they will become used to the taste of the SMZ's and finish the rest of the mash).

                      For horses who get sweet feed, I reduce the grain amount and add a couple of handfuls of wheat bran, and add water to make a mash.

                      For horses who wont eat their SMZ's in a mash, I use a large syringe, melt the SMZ's in water, and administer by oral drench.


                      • #12
                        I've had little trouble getting even picky ones to eat SMZs. I grind them in a coffee grinder and mix with a little Ultium and warm water. IME they must not taste that bad because most of mine will just eat it right up.
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • #13
                          I soak them in a shockingly small amount of hot water for 10 minutes, mix in a dollop of molasses, load into a large syringe and go! Not bad. They are really hard to grind - definitely soak! (I also usually add 1 tablet to compensate for lost and dribbled bits.)


                          • #14
                            I usually just dissolve them right in a large syringe with some warm water, and just squirt in the back of the mouth.

                            If the horse isn't a picky eater, I just dissolve them & mix it in with their food.
                            <3 Vinnie <3
                            Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred


                            • #15
                              we use a 50 ml feeding syringe. Just drop in the number of pills needed, mix with enough warm water to dissolve, replace the plunger and there you have it. After a few dosings you will figure out just how much water to add to make a thickish mixture that is easily given to the horse. No flavoring needed and smz's dissolve almost instantly.


                              For horses that will eat it on their feed, we just dissolve and pour over feed
                              Last edited by mcp; May. 8, 2011, 08:18 PM. Reason: more info


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Leprechaun View Post
                                I soak them in a shockingly small amount of hot water for 10 minutes, mix in a dollop of molasses, load into a large syringe and go! Not bad. They are really hard to grind - definitely soak! (I also usually add 1 tablet to compensate for lost and dribbled bits.)
                                This is exactly what I do. Works like a charm.....as soon as I added the molasses my horse stand for her meds.

                                You only need to add a couple of TBSP of hot water to soften them and the molasses thins it down enough that it works with the syringe.



                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                                  For horses that get at a scoop of pellets or more, I add warm water to the pellets just enough
                                  She is terrified of mashes..she thinks they'll result in her death.

                                  Thanks for all the tips! She's really good at spitting her meds out, even when I give it via syringe. I'll let you know which methods/ingredients work best.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by mcp View Post
                                    we use a 50 ml feeding syringe. Just drop in the number of pills needed, mix with enough warm water to dissolve, replace the plunger and there you have it.
                                    Even easier.
                                    Put the SMZs in the dosing syringe.
                                    Put the plunger in the syringe.
                                    Use the plunger to pull the hot water into the syringe.

                                    Much less mess.

                                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                                      Melted in a 60cc syringe. Cut the tip off and use the end of the scissors to twist a larger hole in the end of the syringe. Count the pills into the dry syringe. Stick your finger over the hole and fill up with hot water from the open end until the pills are covered. Then (carefully ) put the plunger in, keeping your finger over the hole, and shake until fully melted.
                                      Exactly how I do it


                                      • #20
                                        I put the SMZ's into a plastic water bottle. Fill the bottle with warm water and then add five or six sugar cubes in the water as well. I then shake for about two minutes and the pills and sugar will be dissolved. I pour that liquid over my guy's grain and he eats it right up and he is very picky too!