Banamine is one of those wonder drugs that horse veterinarians simply wouldn’t be without! When it comes to controlling pain, Banamine is very effective and can be given in various different ways. But how do you know how much Banamine to give a horse?
What Is Banamine?
The first and most important thing to remember is that Banamine is a prescription-only medication. That means that the use of Banamine is tightly controlled by veterinarians, and you should never administer it to your horse unless advised to by a veterinary clinician.
Banamine is the trade name for a drug called flunixin. It is a potent drug which is used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. After administration, it normally takes effect within one to two hours.
Flunixin, or Banamine, works by blocking the production of chemicals that stimulate the inflammatory response. This type of drug is called an anti-inflammatory, and it is classified in a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
What Is Banamine Used For?
Banamine is most commonly used to treat the painful symptoms of colic. Colic occurs when a horse has a gastrointestinal upset – basically, tummy ache! Banamine is very effective at relieving the pain caused by colic but must only be administered by a veterinarian.
This wonder drug is also used to protect horses from septic shock, also called endotoxic shock. To achieve this it is given at an altered dose rate when the horse is suffering from conditions such as peritonitis, diarrhea or endometritis.
Flunixin is also very effective as an anti-inflammatory for horses suffering from painful eye conditions.
Although Banamine is classified as a NSAID, it is not normally used to treat arthritis or other long-term musculoskeletal problems. It can be used to treat severe or sudden-onset lameness and to relieve acutely painful conditions such as laminitis.
How Is Banamine Administered To Horses?
Banamine is a versatile drug that can be administered in many different ways. Some of these routes of Administration are only used by veterinary personnel, while others may be used byhorse owners and carers.
Banamine, or flunixin, can be given to horses using the following methods:
- Intravenous Injection – This is the fastest-acting method of giving Banamine, and can only be administered by veterinary personnel.
- Intramuscular Injection – It is very rare that intramuscular injection is used to give Banamine, as it can often cause injection site reactions.
- Oral Paste – Banamine paste is often dispensed to horse owners to administer at home.
- Oral Powder – Banamine itself is not available as a powder, however, some other drug manufacturers produce a powdered form of flunixin.
How Much Banamine To Give A Horse?
When deciding how much Banamine to give a horse, it is vital to consult with a veterinary surgeon first. This is because they will know if it is safe to give this medication to your horse and if it is the right medication for your horse at that time.
There are two potential problems you could cause by giving Banamine to your horse without consulting your veterinarian.
Firstly, Banamine is such a good painkiller that it may mask the symptoms your horse is showing. So, if your horse is suffering from severe colic, it may appear less poorly than it really is. A lame horse may run around and make an injury even worse if Banamine is given without veterinary advice.
The other reason you should not give Banamine unless it is dispensed by your veterinarian is that it could cause a toxic reaction in your horse. This is a very potent drug and can cause damage to the internal organs, particularly if the horse is sick or dehydrated. It may cause a bad reaction if administered with other medications.
What Is The Banamine Dosage For Horses Orally?
In theory, it is possible to give the injectable form of Banamine as an oral medication. This can be useful in an emergency, and if your horse is difficult to inject. However, the injectable form of Banamine tastes very unpleasant. Your horse would undoubtedly prefer the paste form instead! To give injectable Banamine orally, administer the same dose as the intravenous dose.
What Is The Banamine Paste Dosage For Horses?
A single Banamine paste syringe is calibrated in twelve weight increments of 250 pounds each. So, you will need to give your horse one increment per every 250 pounds bodyweight.
So, to calculate the dose of Banamine paste you need to know the weight of your horse. Veterinary surgeons are much more experienced at estimating the weight of horses than most of us, so if you are really not sure, just ask!
Most horse owners do not have a set of scales suitable for weighing a horse. This means we need to find other ways to find out the weight of a horse. Your local veterinary clinic may have some horse weighing scales, or there could be a weighbridge you can take your horse to.
If you don’t have access to any scales, then there are some other ways to check the weight of a horse:
A device called a weigh-tape can be used to calculate the weight of a horse. This is a specialized measuring tape, gives you an estimation of the weight of the horse based on the girth measurement.
You can also use a normal measuring tape to take a specific set of measurements. Using a formula, these measurements are used to calculate the bodyweight of the horse.
What Is The Banamine Paste Dosage For Horses With Colic?
The Banamine paste dosage for horses with colic must only every be calculated by a veterinarian. This is because, if given wrongly, Banamine can be very dangerous for horses with colic.
Although it may be very distressing to see your horse with colic, do not be tempted to give them that syringe of Banamine paste left on the shelf. It might well fix the colic, but it could also mask a severe problem or cause toxic side effects to your horse.
As we have learned, Banamine is a very effective painkiller that should only be prescribed by a veterinarian. When working out how much Banamine to give a horse, your veterinarian will need to figure out how much your horse weighs and the best way to administer it. Your veterinarian may dispense an extended course of Banamine for you to give to your horse orally.
We’d love to hear about your experiences – has your veterinarian ever prescribed Banamine for your horse? Or maybe you have questions about how to give Banamine to a horse? Add a comment below this post and we’ll get back to you!