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An Overview of Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) use in Horses

by Robert N. Oglesby, DVM

Introduction

Technically, this term can apply to all drugs which reduce inflammation that is not a steroid. However, when we speak of NSAIDs, we refer to the aspirin type drugs and not the new crop of mucopolysaccharides (hyaluronic acid, polysulfated aminoglycans, and chondroitin sulfates) specifically for chronic joint disease. We will handle these joint enhancing drugs in an upcoming article in August.

Though the efficacy of this class of drugs has been recognized for almost two thousand years, we continue to not be able to explain all the actions of this large class of drugs. We do know some of the mechanisms and looking at the mechanisms of different types of disease, should be able to predict which would be best for each condition. However, the drugs do not always follow the rules, emphasizing our lack of handle on these medications. Another important aspect of these drugs is that misuse, and in the very rare situation even proper use, can result in toxic reactions. This article helps sort out what we know, do not know, and what our current best guess is. Recommendations on short term and long term administration are given. This article contains information to help compare and contrast the NSAID's available but many of these drugs have their own article. When this is the case, a link is provided. Information on the AHSA rule book pertaining to the use of NSAID's is provided.

      ~Word Count: 3393 words (The average magazine page contains about 600 words);
      ~Last Updated: July 10, 2015;
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Discussions on NSAID's, Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs, Overview
  Titles Subtopics Posts Updated
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