New Way to Sedate Problem Horses

Farriers cite both pros and cons with an easy-to-use product for trimming and shoeing problem horses

Nobody wants to deal with problems that can result from needing to tranquilize a problem horse for routine trimming and shoeing. Yet it sometimes seems using a sedative is the only way to deal with a few horses.

Farriers become concerned about being injured by unruly horses or losing valuable time waiting for the vet to show up to sedate the horse. Plus, many report dealing with owners who often don’t want to pay to have a vet tranquilize the horse. Some farriers consider tranquilizers an excuse for owners and trainers to not train horses for hoof-care work. And there’s also the liability issue for farriers when it comes to administering drugs. 

No Need For Needles

As a result, there’s considerable interest among farriers in a Dormosedan gel product for mild sedation and restraint from Pfizer Animal Health that’s been on the market for about 18 months. It follows years of use of a very predictable and reliable injectable form of the product that allowed vets to determine exactly how much of the sedative to give to each horse.

While the gel sedative has to be prescribed by a vet, a horse owner or trainer can administer it to horses over a year of age. But, as hoof care professionals who have used the product reported in a recent American Farriers Journal email survey maintain, that’s not always easy for owners or trainers to do.

To enter the horse’s blood stream, the gel must be placed under the tongue and…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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