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Robaxin - any side effects?

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  • Robaxin - any side effects?

    Have a new mare that previous owner said went better on Robaxin (prone to back soreness and then gets sticky on leads, and has seen chiro). I've never used this before and am a bit reluctant though I know it's used a ton on the show circuit. I'm just not one to give much of anything.

    So I'm looking for some feedback on successes with this drug, how the horse responds, and any side effects? I feel a bit hesitant as the couple of times I myself have taken any sort of muscle relaxant I feel high as a kite, dizzy, and like my whole body is made of jelly....sure wouldn't want to ride a horse that felt like that LOL!

    Other than actual muscle soreness I get the impression from talking to people that they are also using it as a "calming" or overall relaxing agent? Does it have that effect too, does the horse get kinda spacey at all?

    Talked to my vet the other day and he doesn't use it much either. Said he could order me in a bottle but up here it's not cheap (well nothing is up here ) so I don't feel like blowing the wad on a whole bottle and then hating what it does to the horse.

    Your experiences please?

  • #2
    I used it on my prone to soreness horse when we were bringing him out of his chronic, been in pain for years and no one did anything stage, and I really didn't notice that it greatly helped anything. No side effects though.

    Acupuncture(MAJOR improvement after this, btw. 100% recommend it), chiro, and massage along with just good quality work that pushed him(sometimes a little past his comfort level) and really made him use his back muscles were what turned him around.

    Now whenever he gets a little sore between his chiro/acupuncture sessions I've been doing warm/hot liniment baths with some epsom salts dissolved in. He lovesssss it.

    ADD: For what it's worth, my trainer was prescribed robaxin(exact same thing as is given to horses just obviously in a much smaller dosage) for her back, and she said she really didn't notice that it helped at all.


    • #3
      After Robaxin was prescribed for one of my geldings, I did some googling and found, in humans, it does not relax muscles outright, but rather acts as a central nervous system sedative. My observations after giving it to my horse for 10 days (500mg tablets @ 20 per day) was that he definitely presented as lightly sedated. No dramatically noticeable difference in the issue we were trying to solve. (He was sore over his low back/croup. We followed the Robaxin with a couple weeks on Previcox and that seemed to do the trick, so we're now looking at hind limb joints as the source of the back soreness.)
      Patience pays.


      • #4
        I just put my mare on it because the muscles in her back are really tight, along with other problems I never knew existed until I took her to the chiro for her pelvis being out of whack. She has been fine on it, no change in her personality, just much more comfortable. When I called my vet to tell him what the chiro said this was the first thing he suggested. I was a little nervous about it too, but he said there are no side effects, I am totally okay to keep riding her, he even takes one before his polo matches sometimes!

        The robaxin, along with some massage techniques the chiro and massage ladies taught me have really helped to loosen her back up. She has never felt this good! But, I agree with the above poster, I think the robaxin can be a good start when there is a problem, but someone needs to address what is causing the problem. She probably relaxes on it because she is in less pain. Good luck!


        • #5
          I use Robaxin on my mares when they are in season. Both of them tend to get cranky and sensitive, crampy maybe? They get 10 tabs 750 mg once per day for 3-5 days. They go like their normal out of season selves with it, soft and relaxed but not sedated.

          Before I bought the big huge bottle I had a doctor write me a prescription with a couple refills for methocarbamol, the generic. I took some myself and here's what I noticed: When I took 1 pill (equivalent to 10 for a horse) when I was "in season" my cramps and low back throb were gone and I did not have any sedated effects. When I took 2 I was very sleepy. So, if you give your horse 20-30 pills, like some people do, it will be sedated. However, if you use the smallest dose needed to benefit the horse you may find it works very well.


          • #6
            murph, not sure if you are planning to show with it, but I think it drug tests up here, so you need to watch the withdrawl time.
            I could be wrong, but that was my understanding.


            • #7
              We used it on one of our saddleseat horses that's really cold backed and tight through his back, and it really helped him! He was relaxed, but didn't seem spacey at all, but then again he was only on it for about three days.


              • #8
                IME there are many other things to look at before going with Robaxin just to keep a horse from getting back sore. Saddle fit, saddle pads, diet, way of being ridden, chiropractic work, good massage work, etc.

                A back that routinely gets sore and needs Robaxin has something wrong with it.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  I am familar with Robaxin, I was never happy personally with the results. I am happier wih Carisoprodol, which is an anti-spasmodic I believe.

                  Methocarbonal, and Carisoprodol have different properties, thus working in different ways. I used Caris, in conjunction with good, slow, flatwork in quality saddles over 18 months to practically heal a horse with an injured back muscle. We did not find that the Chiro or accupuncture was hugely beneficial for this animal.

                  The two horses that use the Carisoprodol in our barn have had good affects from the medication, they do not get "sleepy" and I feel that is helps.

                  Robaxin/ Methocarbonal, targets a different pathway, and wil affect the injury site differently. Good luck, I would try getting an RX, get a small amount from the local pharmacy and try it. I do think the drug is relatively benign as it washes out.


                  • #10
                    I have used it before on a horse with a sore back. It was the result of a pasture accident and he was only on it for 2 weeks. He (obviously) wasn't ridden during this time but definitely didn't seem sedated at all.
                    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                    My equine soulmate
                    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                    • #11
                      I used to routinely give methocarbamol to my mare when she showed. It does test, and I gave her less than the vet originally prescribed to keep her w/in USEF specs.
                      She just tended to get tense in her back and it helped. I only used it at shows and had no discernable side effects.
                      "I never met a man I didn't like who liked horses." Will Rogers


                      • #12
                        I use it all the time, tho I did have one jumper who used to go nuts on it.. he'd actually start "seeing things" and sweating. Bad news. Works great on others. I buy the powdered mint flavor compound variety. Helps them relax between show days. Illegal if used day-of show.


                        • #13
                          i used it on my jumper but he would be a little loopy by the end of the show week (we can show on it down here).

                          i switched to a half dose of banamine and use a back on track sheet on him at night at the shows - along with dressage work between the shows - and he's doing much better.
                          'What's in your trunk?'
                          Free tools for Trainers and Riders


                          • #14
                            I have heard that people use it as a sort of sedative. I have taken prescribed muscle relaxants/CNS depressants before, and as a human, you do have to take quite a fair amount before you started feeling sedated. Plus, the longer you take it, your body becomes habituated; if you do feel sedated to start, this feeling will diminish as the days/weeks pass.
                            I gave it to my horse for a week or two after it became apparent that the saddle I was using disagreed w/ him and was making him a bit backsore. He was certainly in no way sedated, still his usual excessively energetic self. His comfort level did improve greatly after starting on the robaxin, but I also gave him a few days off to rest and added a sheepskin halfpad to his riding attire, so those things could have contributed to him feeling better as well.


                            • #15
                              Has anyone taken radiographs to see if there's any sort of inflammation in the vertebrae, or kissing spines?