Elanco Companion Animal Health has conducted research into owners’ use of sedatives in equines and found that most prefer oral sedation.
Elanco Companion Animal Health has conducted research(1) into the use of sedatives in equines.
The study found more than half of those questioned had sedated a horse in the past six months, while more than 50 per cent of owners whose horse has been sedated in the past two years have used sedation more than five times.
Sedation in horses is key to maintaining safety, with almost a third of equine-related injuries to riders sustained while not mounted(2). This is often due to a hoof kick that can generate a force up to 1.8 times a horse’s body weight(3), usually resulting in head and face injuries(4).
The research also revealed that 58 per cent of those who had used sedation preferred using an oral sedative, citing convenience (78 per cent) and price (30 per cent) as the main factors behind this choice.
The study also looked at recommendations by vets and farriers, with nearly all horse owners complying with the advice given. More than a quarter of those also asked their vet for information on sedation, while horse owners were found to be very knowledgeable of oral administration, with 90 per cent aware of this route.
(1) MG&A: Equine sedation – the market for Domosedan Gel® survey with farriers and horse owners in the UK.
(2) Thomas K E, Annest J L, Gilchrist J et al (2006). Non-fatal horse related injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001-2003, Br J Sports Med 40:619-626.
(3) Kriss T C, Kriss V M (1997). Equine related neurosurgical trauma; a prospective series of 30 patients, J Trauma 43:97-99.
(4) Eckert V, Lockemann U, Puschel K et al (2011). Equestrian injuries caused by horse kicks: first results of a prospective multicenter study, Clin J Sport Med 21(4):353-355.