When That Problem Horse Needs To Be Tranqulized

With growing liability concerns, farriers need to work closely with equine veterinarians when it comes to tranquilizing horses for footcare work

If you’re working on a horse that won’t hold still for trimming or shoeing, it’s important that you work closely with an equine veterinarian when sedating the animal.

Robert Magnus believes it is extremely important that a vet work closely with the farrier when a horse has to be tranquilized.

“As an example, a vet needs to administer the tranquilizer and stick around for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes to see how the horse reacts,” says the equine veterinarian with the Wisconsin Equine Clinic and Hospital at Oconomowoc, Wis. “Each horse responds differently to tranquilizers and a farrier should ask the vet to wait around to see how the horse does.

“It’s uncomfortable for both the farrier and vet when time is not taken after injection to assess the horse’s response to medication.”

Vets Only

As veterinary malpractice insurance premiums have doubled in recent years, so have liability concerns. “Because of this, we won’t sell tranquilizers to others and haven’t done so for a number of years,” says Magnus. “If a farrier administers tranquilizers and a serious problem develops, the liability will fall on his or her shoulders.”

He also points out that sedating horses is not a money-maker for vets and is mainly done as a service for the two dozen farriers his clinic vets work with on a regular basis. “We charge the owner for administering tranquilizers, but it’s not profitable for us when we have to run out to a farm to do just one…

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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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