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Depo shots in non-cryptorchid geldings

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  • Depo shots in non-cryptorchid geldings

    Hi Everyone

    I was wondering about everyone's personal experiences with Deop Provera shots in geldings. Recently a client at my clinic asked me to find out more about using Depo shots on geldings that were not cryptorchid. She has a gelding in her barn that was being given Depo shots prior to him coming to her barn. The previous owner said that she gave Depo shots to all of her geldings to "take the edge off" even if they were completely gelded.
    What I would like to know from people on here that have used Depo shots in their geldings that were not cryptorchids is how long does the injection last and what side effects have you noticed from not giving it? What made you decide not to use it anymore? What made you decide to use it in the first place?
    While I know that every horse is different and transitions on/off meds differently I'm trying to get real world experience about using Depo in geldings for the calming effects.
    The vet that I work for is old school and won't administer Depo shots for non-cryptorchid geldings. He says that the same effect can be brought upon by good training techniques. He will use it in cryptorchids but always with the understanding that surgery is ultimately the better option long term reasoning that the horse may not always be with an owner that can afford the shots and then runs a risk of liability to the new owner.
    The client said that her horse now seems to be going through withdraw since (as she says) he is "quitting cold turkey". The studdy nervous behavior is now apparent in this boy and she is working him through it with training but she asked me how long (worst case scenario) does it take for it to completely stop affecting the hormone levels. She is not considering using them again but we are waiting on an answer from my boss about whether she should quite cold turkey or should she wean him off of it.
    So please let me know your experience with using Depo in geldings. I've read several links on here and am researching other sites for info but I would really appreciate any insights that you can give me about this. Again, I stress that I am specifically looking for info about non-cryptorchid geldings being given Depo shots.
    Thanks everyone.

  • #2
    I would hazard a guess that MOST of the geldings showing in the very big circuits are being given depo. I am quite sure that almost none of them are cryptorchid.

    It seems to even them out, and can decrease a spooky or pissy tendency a great deal. I love it for me, and my geldings!
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm

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    • #3
      We had a gelding at my college that had to be on depo. You could tell when he was nearing the time for his next shot and when not on the depo was a nightmare. I would say, consult your vet, but in this particular case with this gelding, it was a great tool.
      Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
      Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
      Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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      • #4
        my gelding gets 15 cc every 3 weeks, I think. He is an adult hunter, and without it he tends to land out of the line and snake his head sometimes, and for the changes will pin his ears and back up into the spur a little. the depo seems to even those things out.

        I tend to agree with mroades, I would imagine 75% of A/AA show hunter "true" geldings are on depo.
        When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

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        • #5
          Originally posted by greeneyelioness View Post

          The vet that I work for is old school and won't administer Depo shots for non-cryptorchid geldings.
          Will he sell a bottle of Depo? Cause thats kind of the same thing.

          I imagine he is not an A circuit H/J vet?
          When the boogeyman goes to sleep, he checks the closet for George Morris. -mpsbarnmanager

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          • #6
            I would also imagine that he should be able to answer this question for the clinet. Even if he doesn't give it to geldings he shoudl still be well familiar wth side effects and withdrawl times. With all the resources available to vets I question why someone who 'works at the clinic' is on this BB asking questions they should be able to look up easially. Something smells funny here.....
            You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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            • #7
              I'm quite interested in this, too. I have been told that it's in no way a miracle worker- if you've got an intense horse, you've got an intense horse.

              But my gelding is kind of... sensitive, if that's even the right word. He's super, super lazy and very, very obedient. But he gets tense (?) at times and really needs a confident ride to the jumps. Small things can really distract him. It's strange because he can walk by giant flagpoles and huge, industrial fans without batting an eyelash, but a car door closing will make him hop sideways. Earplugs really, really help him when he's away.

              I've heard Depo can help in cases like this? As in, if a horse is just slightly tense or up, it can help to make them a little less overly-sensitive... None of the geldings in my barn get Depo, but I'd be totally open to trying it. How many cycles does it typically take to see the maximum effect? I'd rather not have to try it for 6 months only to find it does nothing for him.
              Here today, gone tomorrow...

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              • #8
                My gelding and his BFF have been on it for the past 1.5 years or so. It made a huge difference in the other horse, and enough of a difference in mine to keep with it. It's absolutely, I think, worth trying for the overly-anxious, reactive, or (in my horse's case) studdish gelding. My guy was gelded late and the Depo took away his stallion-like desire to be a jackass in mixed company!

                As we are on the subject: my friend and I recently decided to experiment with something else called Equinime that has been said (anecdotally) to act similarly to Depo. It is a supplement, and therefore not a hormone injection- so it's not the same thing by any means as Depo. But we both decided it was worth a try because Depo is expensive and a supplement poses less potential health risks than a monthly IM injection.

                Anyway, neither of us has noticed much of anything different- although due to the snow both of our horses are getting extremely limited turnout. Aside from being grumpy on the ground they have been oddly well-behaved- this may or may not have anything to do with the new supp, but they are certainly not *worse* without the Depo. So far, so good....
                You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

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                • #9
                  When my gelding came to a new barn (which was a disaster in every way), we put him on Depo b/c he was being an ASS and it was a last ditch effort. It didnt do a thing. We moved barns, and he was back to the quiet old man he still is.
                  ---^v---^v---^v----------------------^v---^v---^v---
                  For a moment there, you bored me to death

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                  • #10
                    Depo works on some, not on others. But it's expensive, so unless it makes a significant difference, or enough of a difference so it is worth it to achieve your goals, I dont give it. But it definately can make one a little less cranky, studdy, or generally reduce asinine behaviour. But it wont make a hot one quiet, or make a spooky one suddenly not spook at all.

                    The problem with depo is we are using it 'off label' and hoping for it to have its desired side effect in our horse. If it reliably and measurably altered a horses behaviour it would be illegal :-)

                    But it definately works on some, that's for sure. Dosage wise, it depends on whether or not you have the 100 ml/mg or 200 ml/mg. Most vets say start with 10 cc and go up from there.
                    Dina
                    www.threewishesfarm.com
                    www.fairharbourfarm.com
                    http://www.facebook.com/ThreeWishesFarm Like us on Facebook!!

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                    • #11
                      If a gelding were proud cut they still may have the ability to produce limited amounts of testosterone in the adrenal glands. If a gelding were gelded later in life (even 4 or 5) testosterone would have effected the brain and how the body develops.

                      Therefore giving them the depo shot counteracts the testosterone in their system.

                      Studies have been done on people that were made into unics before and after puberty. Castration before puberty the humans bodies did not change the normal way, their voices did not change, chemical changes in the glands/brain were not seen and their "drive" was low. Those castrated after puberty still grew beards, still had a "drive", still had testosterone/changes in their brain.

                      I assume the same would apply to horses.

                      It is also why it wont make a hot horse quiet or a spooky horse magically not spook. It merely takes the testosterone induced edge off.

                      I understand that this may be common practice but I do not approve of the over-chemicalizing done to the beautiful horses in this sport.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Horsegal984 View Post
                        I would also imagine that he should be able to answer this question for the clinet. Even if he doesn't give it to geldings he shoudl still be well familiar wth side effects and withdrawl times. With all the resources available to vets I question why someone who 'works at the clinic' is on this BB asking questions they should be able to look up easially. Something smells funny here.....
                        No nothing funny going on here. Our client came in last night after the large animal vet in our clinic was off and wouldn't be back until tomorrow. As for me being able to "look up" things easily, yes I can and did but it did not tell me personal accounts as the other responses here have provided. Posting on here for information about people's personal experiences is what COTH is all about so there was nothing fishy about me posting this since giving Depo injections to geldings is something new to me personally. And yes, there is a message for our vet to call her about this but in the meantime if I can help her with information, it's my job to do so using whatever avenues and tools that I can.No reason to be suspicious of someone trying to educate themselves using all available avenues.

                        To everyone else, thank you for your insight to this. As I have said, this was something new to me and I wanted to find out more, mostly for myself. The vet I work for is not a show vet, but a large farm animal vet meaning that he doesn't do just horses, but cows pigs, goats, sheep, alpacas etc. He doesn't get into the show horse scene because everyone wants a quick fix instead of doing the hard work of real training or addressing behavior issues so he limits himself to certain aspects of equine medicine.

                        I've passed along the web address to COTH to our client along with a few others so she can find out more. Thank you again.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by greeneyelioness View Post
                          As for me being able to "look up" things easily, yes I can and did but it did not tell me personal accounts as the other responses here have provided. Posting on here for information about people's personal experiences is what COTH is all about so there was nothing fishy about me posting this since giving Depo injections to geldings is something new to me personally.
                          I don't mean to change what you say by cutting out the rest-- just picking out the relevant part to inform what I'll say.

                          You should also know that this hormone is commonly used to take care of training problems in the "take the edge off" way another poster mentioned. And, to be up front, that pisses me off since I spend the time, money and effort to get my horses trained by non-pharmaceutical means.

                          So my point is that if you can't find a medical source that describes calming effects as a known and "on label" use for this drug..... chances are your client is asking your vet is being asked to help someone cheat.

                          I don't care if everyone does it. I don't care if it "doesn't test." I think it violates drug rules in an obvious way.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by toomanyponies View Post
                            The problem with depo is we are using it 'off label' and hoping for it to have its desired side effect in our horse.
                            Nice. Really love the "off label" description. Rationalize much?

                            If it reliably and measurably altered a horses behaviour it would be illegal :-)
                            Ummm, it is illegal, as is anything knowingly administered to a horse, prior to competition, to alter its mood/temperament. And if you think you won't get smacked for it if your horse is tested, just ask Ulla Salzgeber about Rusty's "therapeutic" doses of testosterone that lost her a World Cup championship. She'll tell you different.
                            In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                            A life lived by example, done too soon.
                            www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ESG View Post
                              Ummm, it is illegal, as is anything knowingly administered to a horse, prior to competition, to alter its mood/temperament. And if you think you won't get smacked for it if your horse is tested, just ask Ulla Salzgeber about Rusty's "therapeutic" doses of testosterone that lost her a World Cup championship. She'll tell you different.
                              For awhile there was a fad to give testosterone to the jumpers. One BNT in CA did it quite a bit. ... All the Adult Ammy's got run off with at the shows.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ESG View Post
                                Nice. Really love the "off label" description. Rationalize much?



                                Ummm, it is illegal, as is anything knowingly administered to a horse, prior to competition, to alter its mood/temperament. And if you think you won't get smacked for it if your horse is tested, just ask Ulla Salzgeber about Rusty's "therapeutic" doses of testosterone that lost her a World Cup championship. She'll tell you different.
                                Do you also object to the use of regumate or depo in mares? For that matter, gelding them is surgery to remove an organ, which is done to make the horse easier to handle, rather than training the horse to behave despite what their hormones tell them to do.
                                -Grace

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Here's my problem with your involvement in this, from a professional standpoint. I'm betting dollars to doughnuts you're not a registered technician, which means you have no license on the line. But you're advising a client about an 'extra-label' (at best) use of a drug. Depo-provera is not labeled for use in geldings for behavior modification, which means the vets license is on the line even if the horse suffers from expected side effects, because it's not supposed to be prescribed for that.

                                  I think that the 'wean-out' period for depo is considerably less than what the owner thinks, and the reason she's having so many issues now is more because somebody has been drugging the horse instead of training him. So the hormonal effects that's she's seeing aren't likely going to improve because all she's seeing is his normal level of testosterone; if anthing they may get worse the longer he's off.

                                  BTW, can't find any studies in horses, but long term use (more than 2 years) in humans has shown a direct effect in bone density loss. Personally I wouldn't want a hrose I'm asking to jump on a regular basis taking anything to WEAKEN his bones. Just something to think about for anyone who gives it out like candy to their geldings.

                                  (and for the OP, it means if the vet puts a horse on it and doesn't totally CYA with forms signed etc and the horse breaks a leg a year later? The owner could argue that they were never told it wasn't labeled for behavior and that there were side effects. The vet would likely wind up settling out of court and his liability insurance would go up, if they don't drop him all together. It's also why I agree with your vet's prespective. )
                                  You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TheOrangeOne View Post
                                    For that matter, gelding them is surgery to remove an organ, which is done to make the horse easier to handle, rather than training the horse to behave despite what their hormones tell them to do.
                                    Stastically only about 2% of the horse population is stallion worthy. So gelding is a surgery done to prevent overbreeding and feeding the French via the Mexican slaughterhouses. There's also medically proven benefits to alteration, which is why it's an approved procedure, unlike Depo, which isn't.
                                    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                      I don't mean to change what you say by cutting out the rest-- just picking out the relevant part to inform what I'll say.

                                      You should also know that this hormone is commonly used to take care of training problems in the "take the edge off" way another poster mentioned. And, to be up front, that pisses me off since I spend the time, money and effort to get my horses trained by non-pharmaceutical means.

                                      So my point is that if you can't find a medical source that describes calming effects as a known and "on label" use for this drug..... chances are your client is asking your vet is being asked to help someone cheat.

                                      I don't care if everyone does it. I don't care if it "doesn't test." I think it violates drug rules in an obvious way.
                                      From the research that I am doing it does seem like an easier way out, kinda like giving every kid that acts out Ritalin without really addressing the on going issues as to why the kid is misbehaving. And I personally I agree with you, MVP, that better training could probably resolve a lot of the reasons why people are giving it. But I am looking from the outside in as I learn about this. I am sure that there are scenarios where this might actually be a necessity for some.

                                      On another insight to this, I don't see much about weaning a horse off of it. It would seem to me that hormones, like steroids, shouldn't be stopped cold turkey but gradually weaned off of it but then since the shots seem to last for awhile I guess the body does that naturally?

                                      I had a friend who was taking Depo shots as birth control and when it came close to her needing to get another shot (I think it was every 3 months) she started to change. She would get rather "loopy" forgetting things, nauseous, have severe mood swings and hot flashes. It was really awful to be her and even more awful to be around her during the last few days before her appt. So I'm pretty sure that it must have some serious side effects for equines too as the hormone levels drop.

                                      Our client does not want to continue the injections as she also feels that training should resolve whatever issues he has. Her horse was originally a racehorse that someone turned into a Jumper so I'm wondering if the previous owners started the Depo shots while the horse was transitioning from the track and the track drugs that they use? Has anyone on here done this?

                                      It is true that I haven't found much "labeled" info for geldings through out my search and I am anxious to speak with my boss about it. I will say that there are many times that we use medications "off label" in small and large animals and of course, there are risks just as there are with using the medication as labeled.


                                      Do you also object to the use of regumate or depo in mares? For that matter, gelding them is surgery to remove an organ, which is done to make the horse easier to handle, rather than training the horse to behave despite what their hormones tell them to do. The Orange One

                                      Let's be honest about gelding. We geld mostly for convenience, it is true but we also geld for a more important reason: population control. It is my opinion that we should enact a more stringent set of laws to enforce gelding to help control the unwanted horse population and to control the idiot backyard breeders who breed because they know someone with a stallion and they have a mare and need to make a few bucks. Same as neutering male dogs. But that is another discussion for another day.
                                      But gelding for convenience is also a necessity because no one is always 100% sure of where a horse's life is going to take him. There are many people who can not handle a stallion. Even with the best of training, an ignorant person can quickly undo all of the hard work in making a well behaved stallion. Yes, it goes back to training the people as well but it's harder to train people than it is animals sometimes. So while we geld for the training convenience, we often minimize the human factor in that and it boils down to safety and liability when it comes to horses.
                                      From what I am learning about Depo, it seems to me more of an easy band-aid for a much bigger problem whereas gelding has a more broader spectrum of necessities, including preventing much bigger problems later in life.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by greeneyelioness View Post
                                        On another insight to this, I don't see much about weaning a horse off of it. It would seem to me that hormones, like steroids, shouldn't be stopped cold turkey but gradually weaned off of it but then since the shots seem to last for awhile I guess the body does that naturally?
                                        Right, because it is slow acting it has it's own natural weaning process, and generally speaking does not need to be tapered like steroids.


                                        It is true that I haven't found much "labeled" info for geldings through out my search and I am anxious to speak with my boss about it. I will say that there are many times that we use medications "off label" in small and large animals and of course, there are risks just as there are with using the medication as labeled.
                                        True, however the FDA and licensing board covers your ass if it's a labeled use. Not so much if it's off label, like ivermectin for mange for example.


                                        From what I am learning about Depo, it seems to me more of an easy band-aid for a much bigger problem whereas gelding has a more broader spectrum of necessities, including preventing much bigger problems later in life.
                                        THIS!
                                        You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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