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Using reserpine - give it ___ days before actually starting handwalking????

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  • Using reserpine - give it ___ days before actually starting handwalking????

    Powdered reserpine -

    I've never used this before, but was instructed by my vet to use it once hand walking begins. And to give it 5-7 days BEFORE starting the hand-walking. And how long does one scoop (I have the powder) last in a horse. I'm supposed to use it once/day.

    I've looked up a lot of other threads about using this, but nothing was said about how many days to give it before actually starting the (dreaded) handwalking. This is is going to be FUN!!!!! (NOT!!!) Horse stall bound for 4 months so far.

    PLEASE share your experiences. I'm really nervous about using this, but drugs are an absolute must for handwalking this horse.

  • #2
    Well, Reserpine is a "long term" tranq, which is why you need to start it enough days ahead of time in order for it to take full effect before you start handwalking. Personally, I would not trust giving a horse powdered reserpine and would rather just tranq with xylazine or xylazine/ace mix as needed (plus a lip chain if the horse is that high strung) but that is personal preference.


    • #3
      Yes, reserpine takes a few days to kick in. In my experience, you don't have a suddenly "drugged" horse like you do with something like Ace. It lowers their blood pressure and keeps them calmer in general all the time vs a hard hitting sedative for short term use (one handwalk for example). I started out with one scoop a day and had to move up to 2 scoops a day for my 1300 lb gelding on stall rest. Unfortunately now that we are adding in trotting to the rehab, the bucking bronco has appeared and we are moving to some stronger injectable (not sure what exactly). This is my second time around with long term stall rest with this horse unfortunately. The first time around I used Ace for handwalks and I have had an easier time with him on the oral reserpine than I did with just Ace.
      "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


      • #4
        Just as an aside, it lowers blood pressure and you should be prepared to adjust blanketing accordingly. My horse got cold very easily while on it. And watch your horse. Mine had a really bad psychotic type reaction to it and I had to pull him off. Went back to injectable Ace for handwalking and stall management.


        • #5
          I hate the stuff. Ya have to use a lot of it to work, and it tests for months. I use a little robaxin and /or Quiessence in the feed to take the edge off, and cut way back on grain


          • #6
            I would personally not use it unless EVERYTHING else had already been tried. But yes, it does have a slow onset.
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              We used it for a while (about a month) when my horse was on stall rest. It didn't help much. I still wasn't able to walk him safely by myself. Plan B was to pay to have one of the grooms walk him each day. That worked better.

              What type of injury does your horse have? I hope he's on the road to recovery.
              It's 2018. Do you know where your old horse is?

              www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


              • Original Poster

                reserpine plus ACE for hand walking

                My vet did say to use the reserpine 5-7 days before handwalking, and then also use the oral ace (3 cc's) on top of that for the actual handwalking. So double wammy. (horse is very hard to give IM or IV ace). I am really scared to use the reserpine, but I don't want an insane horse to walk during the hand-walking, or get hurt myself.

                Horse has had a serious tendon injury.

                Please keep your comments coming. They are much appreciated.


                • #9
                  My sympathies, BTDT...

                  I don't know where you're located (this wouldn't work in a New England winter but might be OK in the South) but this worked well for handwalking my young rambunctious guy during his second bout of prolonged stall rest in two years. After two months in his stall, we moved him outside 24/7 (unless it was too muddy) into a small pen about the size of three stalls. I did his handwalking there. It was so much easier than taking him from his stall to the indoor, where he would proceed to rear and buck and act up. He was bored walking around and around in his pen and almost fell asleep, which was just great for me.


                  • #10
                    I have had good success with the powdered reserpine and a bit of ace. Having seen a xylazine aggressive horse, I dont care for that drug (everyone is going to have a horror story about every drug thats out there)
                    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


                    • #11
                      I took care of a horse who was on oral reserpine, it was about 4 or 5 days for it to work. Small horse, got 2 scoops a day and went from fire breathing dragon/experienced walkers couldn't get a lead on her, to you could walk her with a chain over her nose and a cord on her lip relatively safely. 4cc of ace didn't even touch her, but the reserpine got us all through it!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blueribbonpanel View Post
                        I am really scared to use the reserpine, but I don't want an insane horse to walk during the hand-walking, or get hurt myself.
                        Don't be scared; it's used all the time on the track. And it is totally worth the risks if you're risking getting killed. Or he's risking killing himself (again).

                        I used the injectable form on my horse (1cc IM) and it was phenomenal. He was down by the end of the day. I totally would have continued to use it, but he unfortunately had some sort of freak liver reaction (no one around here had heard of that happening before), so I had to quit. That was a very very sad day, but I thoroughly enjoyed the few weeks I got out of that one injection. Now he gets IV detomidine or xylazine if I have to take him out (he's still on stall rest for an injury) because he simply blows through any sort of ace.


                        • #13
                          I to tried reserpine for handwalking during recovery for my horse it had a reverse effect and made him more crazy but it helps for most horses.

                          Good luck!


                          • #14
                            I've used injectable reserpine quite a few times with horses in rehab that are starting back hand-walking, and I have never seen an adverse reaction. I think it's fairly safe. Also, in my experience, you will be able to slowly tell when it is wearing off. It won't just be an instant change from quiet to crazy. Hope this helps!