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60 days stall rest! Need safe long-term tranquilizer!

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  • 60 days stall rest! Need safe long-term tranquilizer!

    My Hunter/Jumper mare is currently on 60 days pure stall rest for a right front deep flexor tendon and left hind sesamoid injury. I am looking for a safe, long term tranquilizer I can give her to keep her calm in her stall and then use when she will start her very small turnout and tack walking.

    She is tearing her stall down and pacing/kicking to get out. I need her to stay calm so she can heal. She is used to being turnout out 7 days a week and ridden 6 days a week. She's going crazy.

    Anyone have suggestions/ previous experiences with on a safe, effective long-term tranq.? Reserpine maybe???


  • #2
    Yes, Reserpine.

    Some vets may also recommend Fluphenazine (Prolixin) but due to the rather scary side effects, I would try to avoid it.

    I would also get a bottle of Ace and/or Dormosedan for particularly hard moments.

    Reserpine does have some side effects and can be hard on the gut. It will normally cause loose stools for the first few days, and can increase gastric secretions, so I would look into some kind of ulcer prevention while using it.

    It comes in daily doses of pills, powder, or liquid, or in an injectable form. I am going through a similar thing as you right now, and we are starting with tablets in order to find the right dose, and then will use the injectable once we know how much to give.
    The injectable can last 3-6 weeks, depending on the amount of sedation needed.

    Good luck!
    Is there anyway to keep a horse stalled next to her? Can she see other horses? My mare flips out during turnout time, and we are having to relocate barns and find a quieter situation for her.


    • #3
      I had my mare on stall rest for 9 months and for the last 3 months (it was through the winter and she was starting to go nutso) I had her on fluphenazine, one dose lasts about 30 days. She didn't have any side effects although I have heard others have. What does your vet recommend?
      Good luck and I hope she heals quickly!


      • #4
        What does your vet say? Have you stopped all her grain, given her a window, a hay net, a buddy nearby?
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          Are you sure she needs complete stall rest? I would talk with the vet and see if small paddock rest would work, especially if she would have access to her stall to avoid the bugs. Sometimes they do better if they can go outside, even if it is just 12' outside the stall. A quiet companion in the next stall and paddock might help. If her needs for social interaction can be met over the fence, she may be a lot happier.


          • #6
            I used Fluphenazine every 5 weeks or so for 6 months on my horse with great success. The vets at Alamo Pintado Hospital here in Cal said they'd read about side effects but in hundreds of prescriptions, they'd never actually seen even one. They prescribe it as standard for horses on long-term stall rest.


            • #7
              I have a call into my vet and am just waiting to hear back from him. I just wanted to do a little research and get feedback from people who have experience using this king=d of products before I made my decision.

              My mare has to be on 30 days of pure stall rest and then can do the other 30 days in a 12X12 turnout outside if she is calm! She does have other horses in the barn she can see, so she's no alone. She is just use to ALOT of turnout/work and now she gets nothing!!

              Thank you to everyone who replied to this post for your feedback!!


              • #8
                I've had my mare on reserpine during a three-month or so lay-up/partial lay-up. It takes the edge off but doesn't make her in la-la land. There's a "loading dose" protocol that is something like six pills one day, then four, then two and then two every other day for however long. I've had no side effects at all, not even loose stools and this is a horse with previous ulcer problems. I do have her on SmartGut all the time, so not sure if that helps. I also give her a snack of beet pulp every day because I have this personal theory that it helps her tummy . . . .


                • #9
                  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will say that Fluphenazine made my horse much, much worse while on stall rest. He became more fresh and aggressive while on it.


                  • #10
                    If you have her in a good sized stall, you may be able to get her a pet goat as a companion. Consider it a sacrificial or scape goat.


                    • #11
                      I've had great luck with Ace 2x daily by itself.

                      I liked Reserpine because you can titrate the dose as need be. Make sure you watch body temp as they can get chilled, etc. The one thing I don't like about R. is that it can make the horse hypersensitive to sounds.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                        I've had great luck with Ace 2x daily by itself.

                        I liked Reserpine because you can titrate the dose as need be. Make sure you watch body temp as they can get chilled, etc. The one thing I don't like about R. is that it can make the horse hypersensitive to sounds.
                        Interesting. I hadn't heard that about reserpine. Can you tell me more. She does seem to spook more at "invisible" things. I wonder if this is why. In any event, I'm weaning her off this weekend.

                        I was not able to use ace initially because of its effect on bleeding and there was some bleeding related to her soft tissue injury.


                        • #13
                          The way my vet described fluphenazine, is that it doesn't sedate so much as reduce their spook/excitability response. I've been using it on my OTTB mare who's being rehabbed from a fetlock sprain. My vet prescribed it because while my mare was manageable overall, if something did upset her while in-hand (I wasn't riding yet at the time) she would totally blow a gasket (full rearing and bolting) and therefore was not safe to get on. The fluphenazine did it's job very well for me, but based on what I was told it doesn't sound totally appropriate for your mare given her current situation.

                          Good luck with whatever you choose to go with!


                          • #14
                            WHen discussing fluphenazine with my vet in the past, she said it works the same as low dose ace, so before trying the fluphenazine, she recommends seeing if low dose ace did in fact help the horse...if not, she didn't feel it was worth the side effect risks.

                            The scarey thing about a long acting drug like fluphenazine is that the side effects will last super long as well...and side effects can include things like seizures...so imagine dealing with a horse with that for a side effect for 30+ days....rare, but my vet has dealt with one such case, and local vets she talked to have also dealt with it. It is apparently just not that public as most people prefer to hide the fact they are drugging their horse....

                            Other non-medical things that can help; a no break mirror so the horse can see another horse (itself) consistently, radio playing music the horse likes, one of those stall balls that doles out treats, empty veg. oil jug to chew on/play with.
                            Good luck with your horse. I hope you find the right solution for you.
                            Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                            • #15
                              My TB just came off nearly 8 MONTHS of stall rest and we used Reserpine. It helped a lot. It's safe and typicially only needs to be administered monthly. You can also add calm n cool feed through supplement with it.
                              Concordia means "Harmony" in Latin.
                              Full Time Dressage Addict


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Watermark Farm View Post
                                I've had great luck with Ace 2x daily by itself.

                                I liked Reserpine because you can titrate the dose as need be. Make sure you watch body temp as they can get chilled, etc. The one thing I don't like about R. is that it can make the horse hypersensitive to sounds.
                                I also had decent luck with Ace 2x day during a prolonged (many, many, many months) stall rest.


                                • #17
                                  I would try twice daily IM ace and possibly making a 12x12 to 14x14 outside stall as some horses really like to be outside.


                                  • #18
                                    My 8 y/o TB was on stall rest with hand walking for a suspensory injury. He shouldn't even be turned out yet (it's been 7.5 months), but he was getting really cranky, and hard to ride for his rehab, so we started to turn him out to see if it would make him happier. Anyway, the majority of the stall rest was during the winter, and occasionally he did go nutso in his stall. This wasn't good after having had surgery on his left hind leg! We did 6 tabs of ace (25 mg each) twice a day. I actually stopped the ace almost a month ago since in this warm weather he's lazy. Good luck!


                                    • #19
                                      I have had success moving the stall bound horse from one stall to another. I try to put them in a different barn, with a window NOT seeing other horses in turnout, maybe looking out on a parking lot, etc. I turn out all of the horses and then move the stall bound one to his "day" stall.