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Depo Deaths - Chronicle Article

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  • Depo Deaths - Chronicle Article

    https://www.chronofhorse.com/article...e-sudden-death

    Does anyone have first hand experience? Or even second hand experience? Any thoughts?

    I honestly had no idea anaphylaxis was even a side effect of giving depo. I have a small group of four. My mare is the only mare. She's maintained on depo primarily to lessen her completely whorish behavior out in the field. She lived separate for some time, but I really like the fact that she can exist with friends, and she's much quieter and now turns out reliably without supervision.

    Now I'm questioning whether or not to give her the dose due tomorrow.

    ETA: This is not a discussion about alternatives. This is not a discussion about the use of depo for altering mental status for riding purposes. This is a discussion about side effects. This use is truly for a hormonal (or so I thought...) purposes. My horse is a solid citizen under saddle regardless of her whorish behavior in the field. Depo is used on her to allow her to live a fairly normal life with ample turnout, while not risking the limps of my passive geldings.
    Last edited by scrbear11; Oct. 11, 2019, 10:58 AM.

  • #2
    I don't have experience with the deaths, but my vet advised me the drug is seriously dangerous and should be removed from the market. I trust him, and he stays well educated in the medical community. So there's that.

    There is also the research that shows it can cause heart failure in dogs and chimps. I wouldn't take the risk, personally.
    Boss Mare Eventing Blog

    Comment


    • #3
      Sudden death (anaphylaxic shock) is sadly, a side-effect of many IM or IV administrations -- not just depo.

      In my experience, it is very rare. I'm very fortunate to have never had it happen, though I have administered the shot many times as a WS/BM.

      That being said I would of course, not use it unless I absolutely had to. I'm personally against depo for my own horses, for other reasons, as I found it abused in show-barns by riders/people who had "cranky" horses when the horse was just trying to tell them something wasn't quite right..

      If you are looking for alternatives, have you tried feed-throughs instead, like raspberry leaves?
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

      Comment


      • #4
        I guess I just never ran in the circles that used this when I used to show hunters and dressage. My theory has always been, if your horse needs something to be ridden (whether depo etc) it's either telling you a) There is pain somewhere, b) the horse needs more physical work and/or turnout time, or c) the horse needs further training or its a mismatch between rider and horse. I personally would never use depo. I have tried Mare Magic on a few mares that had very strong cycles and turned into grouches, ultrasounds showed no cysts or physical issues, but I never noticed a difference with it. I have since heard raspberry leaves are cheaper than the Mare Magic and basically the same thing as well.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
          I guess I just never ran in the circles that used this when I used to show hunters and dressage. My theory has always been, if your horse needs something to be ridden (whether depo etc) it's either telling you a) There is pain somewhere, b) the horse needs more physical work and/or turnout time, or c) the horse needs further training or its a mismatch between rider and horse. I personally would never use depo. I have tried Mare Magic on a few mares that had very strong cycles and turned into grouches, ultrasounds showed no cysts or physical issues, but I never noticed a difference with it. I have since heard raspberry leaves are cheaper than the Mare Magic and basically the same thing as well.
          In this case, it's not to be ridden. So that's not the point of this discussion. She's a solid citizen under saddle whether or not she's a raging whore out in the field. It allows her to live a normal life with ample turnout without causing excessive drama in the field or hurting one of the boys. Herbal "remedies" don't lessen her assaults on the geldings.

          And in all fairness, how is the use of an altering herbal supplement any different from the use of a prescribed drug?

          Comment


          • #6
            I only tried the herbal supplement on two mares, when we had done all kinds of diagnostics for them and found nothing out of the ordinary physically. My comments weren't directed at you, but in general, when people use any sort of product to dull down their horse for RIDING purposes.

            I am sure in cases like yours, and other issues,there is a good benefit. I just don't understand people who use things to try to quiet their horse so they are able to handle it under saddle!

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm sorry I was responding more to the article.

              To answer your question, it sounds like it is still a pretty remote possibility that your horse would have such a reaction. Once in the article it is mentioned it happened after the 2nd (ever?) injection. How long has she been receiving it? If the benefits outweigh the slim chance of a reaction like that (and it sounds like in your case, they do!), I would probably go ahead and give it to her.

              I'm sorry to have derailed the thread a bit! Good luck OP!

              Comment


              • #8
                My gelding was showing increasingly aggressive stud like behaviors the past couple of years. Not just while ridden but he did also start charging select horses in the arena. I tried to always ride by myself and work through training issues, but he was super distracted when other horses even walked by and he was really weird about other horses’ manure.

                We tested him for retained testicular tissue (none), tried for a long time to fix it with training including cowboy style boot camp. Chasing pain issues (which he has also had but which don’t seem to be correlated with the stud behavior). I tried about every herbal “mare” thing. He was getting so anxious and checked out we also tried Prozac. Depo has made him a much happier horse.

                I heard about this from my university sports vet the other day. Farm vet prescribes the drug, but the whole team is aware. University vet hadn’t researched it but I guess someone had been contacting them to collect data. They don’t really use it. Farm vet said that any IM injection could cause anaphylactic reactions and in his opinion Depo is not higher risk. I do hate injecting any suspension compound and I wish it came in another form. Some of them are thicker than others. I guess you have to weigh the risk and benefit. Are there a lot of horses on it that probably have no real need to be? Yes, I’m pretty sure of that. The more instances of injection the more likely someone will have an adverse reaction. Does the risk outweigh the benefit for some? Probably.

                I don’t give it to be able to horse show. I give it because I think it improves his quality of life. I can make the choice to just dealing with the aggression and being careful who I am around, but even in the stall he has just seemed like a more normal, happy go lucky kind of horse which I’d never seen before. If given a reasonably effective alternative, sure, I would love to stop injecting my horse. It’s not a decision I made lightly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WildLittleWren View Post
                  I'm sorry I was responding more to the article.

                  To answer your question, it sounds like it is still a pretty remote possibility that your horse would have such a reaction. Once in the article it is mentioned it happened after the 2nd (ever?) injection. How long has she been receiving it? If the benefits outweigh the slim chance of a reaction like that (and it sounds like in your case, they do!), I would probably go ahead and give it to her.

                  I'm sorry to have derailed the thread a bit! Good luck OP!
                  The problem with the data is we don’t know which horses died on shot #2 and which ones on shot #100 or whatever. If there was a lot on #2 then I think maybe the risk would be different than the latter. However think about anaphylaxis in other situations. People can be exposed to bee stings and shellfish or whatever multiple times and then they can become acutely allergic. Some are acutely allergic after a single primed exposure.

                  Were all the horses taken for necropsy? Do we know that no one hit a vessel?

                  How do these estimated statistics of severe adverse reaction compare to other injectables?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IPEsq View Post

                    The problem with the data is we don’t know which horses died on shot #2 and which ones on shot #100 or whatever. If there was a lot on #2 then I think maybe the risk would be different than the latter. However think about anaphylaxis in other situations. People can be exposed to bee stings and shellfish or whatever multiple times and then they can become acutely allergic. Some are acutely allergic after a single primed exposure.

                    Were all the horses taken for necropsy? Do we know that no one hit a vessel?

                    How do these estimated statistics of severe adverse reaction compare to other injectables?
                    You make a good point. It definitely sounds like something that needs to be studied so that they can try and see if there is a trend. I had an Aunt who never had allergies to shellfish, who one day went to a restaurant and had such a severe reaction to it that she had to be rushed to the hospital. She can now no longer consume shellfish. So I do think that is a good possibility as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As said before, with any injection or medication given there is a risk. You have to decide if the reward is greater than the risk. It doesn’t sound (yet) like this is a particularly common side effect. I also found it very interesting that both of the incidences talked about in the article happened in boarding barn situations with multiple horses getting injected.... makes you wonder if maybe something else is going on here to cause the deaths. Contamination maybe?
                      You can always switch to regu-mate if you are very concerned though.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We use regu-mate. never had one have an allergic reaction to depo, but they can get very sore necks. back in the day, some vets used it for back pain, as the theory was that it would help with muscle spasms, kind of like birth control pills help with a lot of female health issues, other than contraception. But ikd if it truly helped
                        I have, however, seen one die from anaphalaxis from a properly done IM penicillin injection, and 2 from an allergy to SMZ, given orally.
                        Those both freaked me out, because I am allergic to many antibiotics

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The article talks about the drug from compound pharmacies. Is this a problem with the name brand drug as well? I’m just thinking about a thread dungrulla started about trusting your compound pharmacist. I’ve never used depo or regumate as I have never had a horse that needed better pasture experiences through chemistry. Although I have owned and own a mare that people tell me I should use these things, I have found more wet saddle pads do the trick.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Having had a very hormonal mare, I understand your dilemma! My mare was ok oustide, but in her stall would throw her hip up against the wall over and over again and cause sores. She'd also kick the walls and generally was at risk of hurting herself! This wasn't training issues or pain issues. It was a mare hormone issue. My mare was on depo during the summer and once her fall heat cycle was over, I took her off until spring. I never had any issues. Depo is primarily if not always compounded, so that could be where the issue is. I would make sure your depo comes from a very reputable compounder with high standards. My girl is older now and I have not needed it for the last couple of years, but she was on it through the summers for years with no issues.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                              The article talks about the drug from compound pharmacies. Is this a problem with the name brand drug as well? I’m just thinking about a thread dungrulla started about trusting your compound pharmacist. I’ve never used depo or regumate as I have never had a horse that needed better pasture experiences through chemistry. Although I have owned and own a mare that people tell me I should use these things, I have found more wet saddle pads do the trick.
                              I don't think it can be given as "name brand" because it needs to be in a different concentration. At least that's what I gathered. It's tribal knowledge that it is the same thing as depo, but is mostly called "medroxy" in the circles I frequent. All horse versions are from a compounding pharmacy

                              I, personally, have seen this drug abused more than most others. Any behavior issue got smothered in medroxy instead of addressed with training. I was even suggested to give it to my very hot TB mare by a trainer who rode her once. I politely declined.

                              I think the governing bodies need to make a decision regarding this drug.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                                The article talks about the drug from compound pharmacies. Is this a problem with the name brand drug as well? I’m just thinking about a thread dungrulla started about trusting your compound pharmacist. I’ve never used depo or regumate as I have never had a horse that needed better pasture experiences through chemistry. Although I have owned and own a mare that people tell me I should use these things, I have found more wet saddle pads do the trick.
                                There’s no specific FDA approval for use in horses, so there isn’t brand name Depo for use in horses ... it’s all compounded.

                                The overall risk of anaphylaxis is probably pretty low, but I just don’t see using it for show-ring calming being worth the risk ... but then I’ve never been a fan of the “training in a bottle” approach.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Hello all. Posting as an alter here to clarify some mis information. I am the owner of the horse in the article. I didn’t know the assistant trainer (we’ll call them AT) was contacted for an interview until after the fact and I was never contacted by the chronicle. I was told by AT after the interview was given that they had been approached and I corrected them at that time on the mis-information given. I did not contact the chronicle about the mis-information because it was a very hard time for us and I honestly didn’t care. The horse did not die from the Depo.

                                  Two weeks prior the horse got vaccines from a vet with decades of experience. During that time, a bacteria was introduced to the muscle tissue in the neck. Over the next two weeks, his body muscles (including heart and lungs) filled with edema and a deadly toxin. We had no idea. No fever, no lethargy. It ended up that he had a VERY rare bacteria that houses itself within the muscle and stays “dormant” for a lack of a better word. When it progresses to the point that the edema and toxins can’t be held anymore and the muscle is “triggered” the toxin is released into the system causing seizure, stroke, heart attacks and death. I want to stress that this horse had IMMACULATE care before his death. No one in this scenario did anything negligent or wrong. This was a fluke thing that is so rare, his necropsy results have been shared with many teaching hospitals and field vets.

                                  His is official diagnosis by New Bolton was:
                                  1) Intramuscular hemorrhage base of left neck and forelimb with emphysema and disseminated large bacilli compatible with Clostidium spp.
                                  2) Peracute laryngeal and pulmonary edema with pulmonary hemorrhage and emphysema and disseminated large bacilli compatible with Clostidium spp.
                                  3) Advanced multi-organ autolysis with disseminated sporulated bacilli

                                  New Bolton told us that based on the advancement that 1) it had been “brewing” approximately 2 weeks and 2) the horse was a ticking time bomb and would not have lasted another 48 hours. All he needed was some sort of trigger...stressful event, hard work out, or puncture to a muscle. I am just thankful my daughter didn’t ride him hard enough that night to trigger him as she was riding.

                                  I have no comment on depo, but wanted to clarify the situation.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Also to add, the incident was reported to the compounding pharmacy and vaccine manufacturers and there was no defect found to the medications themselves.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Lilly123B I am so sorry for your loss.

                                      Maybe I am misremembering but I thought the USEF banned depo.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Denali6298 I believe there was talk of banning Depo a couple years ago, but the outcry from the hunter trainers was such that it went nowhere.

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