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Discussion on Giving Ace orally before riding

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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 142
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 21, 2005 - 1:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was interested in learning that Acepromazine could be given orally.

The rain we are having is making ongoing rehab a more challenging proposition. I realize that the Ace is a good tool to employ in these situations where high jinks and safety are in conflict, but I would like to not have to inject my horse every time I need to ride him for the next soggy few months.

In reading the article and the associated posts, could you elaborate more regarding how far in advance of riding you would give an Ace laced feed? If I wanted to ride at 4:00 pm and my horse was given Ace spiked grain at 12:00 pm, would the efficacy still be present or would I miss the window of opportunity?

The riding I need to do involves cruising around for 45 minutes with graduated amounts of trotting to be added every two weeks. (We are now at 3 minutes) Walking in the arena with other horses working just seems to agitate Justin and as much as I try to avoid using the arena, sometimes I can't. I just want to try to take the edge off to keep everybody safe, but I don't want to dope him up for a couple of hours just to ride him for one.. (If I have to, I will, but I am searching for reasonable compromises)

If you are putting Ace in grain, does it make any difference to use the granules rather than the liquid?

I was also curious if the method of squirting Ace directly on the tongue was really that effective?

Do most horses readily eat Ace spiked grain or do you need to get creative like when giving Bute?

Can you give Ace spiked grain every day with out causing tummy problems?

Is there any problem with adding Ace to feed that has glucosamine HCL supplement added to it?

If anyone out there does give Ace orally on a regular basis, I would sure like to hear how it works for you and any suggestions/considerations you may have.

Many Thanks,
Debra
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14355
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Dec 22, 2005 - 7:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes you would still see an effect but would it be enough? Because of the variables of feed, absorption, and individual response you will have to experiment with dosage and timing. 1 to 2 hours prior to riding would be better.

There are no studies comparing the different rates of granules and liquid. Squirting small volumes of liquid in the mouth is not a dependable way to medicate a horse. I have not seen any problems with food refusal with ace. I do not know of any problems with ace and the stomach (see the article for more on effects of ace). There are no studies on the safety of ace and chondroitin given together but their are no problems I am aware of or seem likely. We have used this technique many times daily for several weeks and occasionally for a month at a time without problems but this needs to be discussed with your vet for your horse is particular.
DrO
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 143
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, Dec 22, 2005 - 9:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Dr O.

I called my vet this morning and he provided me with a tub of granulated Acepromazine with the instructions to give a scoop (25mg) 30 minutes before riding with the emphasis that the full effect may not happen for about a full hour. I am to monitor his reaction and titrate accordingly.(ie.. experiment with dosage and timing as you so aptly suggested.)

I appreciate your quick answers to my questions. I don't know when or exactly under what circumstances I will employ the Ace, but it is good to have it in my "bag of tricks" and to know how to administer it to my horse in a knowlegable manner.

One last question..will the Ace effect "wear off" sooner because the horse is exercising as opposed to getting sedated for a standing procedure?

Holiday Greetings,
Debra
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 145
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, Jan 6, 2006 - 5:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just an update on the use of the Ace for our riding/rehab purpose.

It has been a most helpful adjunct in this phase of rehab where the weather is lousy and the horse is fresh and frisky!

I mix a slightly heaping scoop of Ace with about a Tablespoon of brown sugar. I sprinkle that mixture over an apple that has been cut into chunks. I then add a handful of LMF senior and a tablespoon of oil, then mix well to coat the grain/apple mixture. He gobbles it down and licks the bottom of the rubber pan looking for more.

Meanwhile, I clean his stall, do a few chores and then groom him to ride. The ace seems to kick in about 45 minutes later. Justin is much more relaxed when we go out. He has the energy to get out and move briskly, but he tends to look more and react less. If he does spook at something, there isn't the explosivness that there was before and he quickly calms down. There is no stumbling at the trot and he is willing to keep going as long as necessary. By the end of an hour, you can tell the effect is wearing off and we come in.

Since I ride him at least 5 days a week and take him out for hand walks the other two days, is there any cause for concern to employ this method of horse control almost everyday for the next two months or longer?

I am also unsure how much I should experiment with dosage? This estimation seems to be working well, but I am wondering since this will be an extended use, will he develop a tolerance that will make it necessary to increase the dosage or is it reasonable to assume that I can expect this reaction to this dosage most of the time?

Also what is the formula for calculating maximum dosage? I am curious if two scoops(50mg) would be the maximum dosage for his weight. (which I need to figure out closer)

Many thanks,
Debra
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Susan Jeys
Member
Username: Sjeys

Post Number: 15
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Friday, Jan 6, 2006 - 7:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've heard in people that if you take drug X and study, for instance, then your brain is only able to remember the material if your brain is in the same chemical state it was in when it learned it. So, that's why you have people who get high to study and then have to get high again to take the test (at least this is what my psychiatrist friend told me). I know this kind of 'learning' hasn't been tested in horses, but it would be interesting to see if once the horse gets off of this, if when presented with a particular difficult situation (like a plastic bag or barking dog) if they would react the same as they did when Aced? Or would it be like a whole new experience for them?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14457
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jan 7, 2006 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There is no "maximum dose calculation" and I am not sure I understand what you mean by the term. If it is not broke, I would not try to fix it. A once daily dose for 5 days a week should be fine and tolerance is not known to be a problem with ace.

After a week or two you might attempt to slowly reduce the dose as your horse adjusts to the rides. I would think of this as a temporary training aid to get your horse where you want him without getting yourself busted up.
DrO
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 117
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jan 7, 2006 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I find it interesting that after an hour of riding you notice the Ace wearing off. I would think he would be worked enough to take the edge off. Maybe there is something to Susans idea. Debra, how does he act when the ace wears off. Is he fresh again, as if you just brought him out or is he just a different personality. I am intrigued.
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 146
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, Jan 7, 2006 - 2:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to the three of you for your responses.

DrO-I was just wondering what the maximum amount of Ace I could give for his weight and what the dosage calculation would be.

To others, here's my situation that is troubling me: I am in month ten of rehabbing my T-bred who was diagnosed with check ligament injuries, a bowed tendon (SDF) along with medial and lateral suspensory ligament injury.

The end of August he re-injured all but the check ligaments when his stall door was accidently left open by one of the barn workers. I have been going very slowly this time around with the re- rehab program.

At my barn, the owner closes all three outside arenas when the rain comes. The 1/2 mile bridle path is a slippery, sloggy mess and the large covered arena will have up to eight horses at a time being worked or lessons. Justin cannot handle horses coming at him in all different directions when we are trying to just dodge everybody at the walk. There are over sixty riders that use the arena, so finding quiet time at the arena is difficult. The footing in the large arena has become so uneven, dippy and slippery in spots that many of the boarders and trainers are complaining in mass to the owner, who likes to remind everyone that this is a boarding facility, not a training facility and that we need to just deal with the arena till the winter is over. To try to do rehab work in the arena is not safe at this time.

I am supposed to be adding two minutes of trot every two weeks. The only place I have to work him is a 1/4 mile straight stretch of hard packed, open road which runs the length of the property. My daughter and I have to deal with cars, hay/shavings delivery trucks, deer, other frisky horses being worked on the road, dogs, loose chickens, scary aliens in the trees and since the road runs in front of the barns, we have to deal with trotting back towards the barn (home) which has implications over a period of time too.

To only trot four to six minutes in a one hour period of time with mostly walking does nothing to be "worked enough" to get the edge off.

I have started visiting other barns in the area to see if I can work out a situation where I can trailer him to another arena several times a week to build up our trot time in an enclosed space. I am even willing to pay an arena fee to be able to have a safer riding environment for my daughter, myself, the horse and other riders.

Oh my goodness... I have just reread what I have written and realize I have vented my frustration more than answered the questions that were asked. Please forgive me.. Right now I am just trying to keep both my daughter and I able to stay seated and safe on a horse that is usually reasonable, but this long period of confinement with only little bits of exercise every day combined with only open space to work him has ME on edge. I could sure use a dose of Ace myself, I think.

I am open to any thoughts, suggestions and options that anyone may have that I could consider. Thank you for reading this way too long post.

Smiles,
Debra
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Shelley
Member
Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 118
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jan 7, 2006 - 6:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK Duh !
I guess I could have reread your first post and saved you repeating your self. I definetly see your predicament.
I am not sure what kind of line the barn owner is giving you about a boarding stable having lower standards than a training stable. Aren't we all trainers for our own horses? Somehow I think that phrase would not convince her. Maybe you need to get a "trainer" in there. . . ?
Sorry I know I am not much help, winters can be hard enough to get through without having a rehab horse.
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Lee
Member
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 558
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jan 7, 2006 - 7:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't have much, Debra, but if you and your daughter are working together, there is a method I used years ago on a , spoiled rotten, anglo arab control freak. His owner had become terrified of him and allowed him complete control. He came to me because no one wanted him and the owner had no choice but to put him down. I took him because I was twentysomething, knew everything about everything, and was immortal. Besides, in my wildest dreams, I could never have come close to that quality at my salary. In not even a month, I decided to call the butcher. It was probably the umpteenth time I had to dive over or under the paddock fence as he charged me at a gallop, teeth bared and ears pinned. If he felt like doing something, he'd be a sweetheart - if he didn't, without any warning, he'd squash you.

Now, granted, this was not re-hab, but it was a matter of control. First, I cut out ALL feed. The barn manager was horrified, but I told him it was that or the butcher. The horse got only a very decent grass hay, but it was free-fed 24/7. Actually, he really wasn't working, so he really didn't need it. He really enjoyed being groomed, so following daily grooming - a long session with voice and pressure commands ( "stealth" training, I called it - so he would get conditioned to ground commands during a pleasant experience ), I attached two stud chains. The first ran from the ring at the right poll piece of the halter, down the cheek piece, through that ring, and over the nose and out the other ring on the left side of the nose. The second I clipped on the left side of the poll piece, down the cheek piece and UNDER the chin and out the ring on the right side. Now, Justin isn't mean, so you could probably use a plain lead or even a stretchy one. One person takes the lead rope on one side and the other takes the lead on the other. As you walk him down the road, when he spooks, both of you just hold on to the leads, and stay clear. Most of the time, his first jump is backwards - you both let go with the hand closest to the halter and step sideways. DON'T look at him, DON'T make a sound, and DON'T jerk the lead. Hold on quietly and move slowly with the spook. The leads will exert poll pressure, chin pressure, and nose pressure. Again, don't jerk the leads, yell or speak, or look at the horse. When he is done, continue to ignore him and begin walking again as if nothing happened. He should soon get the idea that spooking causes him all kinds of discomfort that he does not connect to you - as long as you remain quiet, don't look at him, and don't speak or cluck to him afterwards. Just keep steady pressure on the leads, without jerking or pulling, until the spook is finished. Now, my horse used to charge and attack the person leading him. With Justin, should the spook be sideways, get out of the way
( still holding your lead ), and let the person on the opposite side give a sharp jerk. This will pull him away from the person "receiving the spook", and the discomfort he feels is all in the direction he spooked "to". You see, usually when a horse spooks, the person leading him jerks the lead, which pulls the horse's face to them, they then look right at him and yell "NO" or "Whoa" or "STOPPIT,STOPPITSTOPPIT!!!!" Now, here's your horse, cooped up, on grain, on pins and needles. What ever silly thing set him off is forgotten, because YOU'RE yelling, your face screwed up and scowling, and you are yanking and making him look at you.....Your body language is telling him "be scared, be scared, be scared - because I CERTAINLY AM". This rigging will protect you and him, and allow you the ability to exist "separate" from the upsetting experience he is going through. The key is to allow him to walk with you, and not exert any lead pressure. When the spook comes, if you stay calm and quiet, and don't look at him - he won't associate the "punishment" with you....he'll soon learn that the pressure occurs with his pulling behavior. This must be done consistently, and, along with increased hay and DEcreased feed ( that he doesn't need right now ), his behavior should improve. And, by the way, after the "spook" is done, without looking at him, ease the leads by his halter and continue walking, DON'T "good boy" him, pat him, or praise him. During the walk, WHILE he is being good, THEN give him a quick "good boy" and pat.

There are some things you can do in the arena also, but I have to get dinner and this is way too long. Just threw it out there for you - you were sounding desperate.
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LL
Member
Username: Frances

Post Number: 203
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jan 8, 2006 - 7:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Debra,

Just wanted to add a caution re trailering Justin to another arena: are you sure that loading and unloading would not be risky for his tendons/ligaments? And don't you think he'd be even more OTT in a strange environment?

Sorry to bring up a possibly negative aspect of this solution to the frustrating situation you find yourself in. I'm probably completely wrong, but I always think it's best to imagine all the things that COULD go wrong in advance!

Certainly wish you all the best. It's sooo hard.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14467
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jan 8, 2006 - 8:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I see, drug toxicity is not considered as an amount over a certain dose. Different individuals are effected differently and there are even a few rare individuals who may die at the recommended label dosages. The upper limit is considered very safe for the vast majority and often in practice the dosage of ace is taken quite a bit above the maximum labeled dosage, even doubled, particularly when it is not placed in the vein, but I cannot give you a maximum safe dose for your horse because we do not know what it is.
DrO
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 147
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jan 8, 2006 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am a lucky woman to have access to this kind of help with all this good experience to draw from.

Shelley- Your statement that "winters are hard enough to get thru without having a rehab horse" was an epiphany.. I have been so use to cruising full blast thru rehab with all the great weather thru spring, summer and fall that I assumed I could do the same thru rain, wind, mud and crowded arenas. As a weird co-incidence yesterday, I ran into a woman who use to be in my barn who had a mare with a very serious tendon injury and she asked how Justin was doing..I shared with her my concerns and frustration and she looked at me and gently said.."Debra, don't sweat the trotting part.. the leg will continue to heal whether he is trotting or not.. What's another couple of months of walking under saddle. Fit in the trot when it seems reasonable and safe.."

Lee- Thank you for sharing your story. The idea of trotting Justin between my daughter and I
raised an option that is worth considering. We both have hand trotted him in the outdoor arenas which has worked pretty well, so perhaps with the two of us working together, trotting in hand on the road may be a workable solution. Thank you for recognizing Justin is not mean.. He is just a cooped up horse being asked to be good and reasonable in wide open spaces at the trot...

Lynn- You brought up a definite con to my thoughts regarding trailering to different arenas and I appreciate your caring enough to take the time to write.. My bit of research so far showed me that this idea wasn't going to fly because of schedules and liability concerns.

So, I am taking a deep breath..Take each day one at a time. Take advantage of good situations to fit in the trot and not sweat those days when it isn't going to be possible. The Ace is helpful for these cruises around the property to keep the skitters to a reasonable minimum. I see Dr Gillis next week and will be curious to hear what her thoughts are regarding my situation.

Many thanks to all of you for your time and perspective..

Smiles,
Debra
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LL
Member
Username: Frances

Post Number: 211
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2006 - 7:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Debra,

I was thinking of you and Justin trying to fend off the other riders cantering by as you do your rehab! (Probably because I'm experiencing much of the same!)

How's it going? And have you seen Dr Gillis yet?

All the best

Lynn
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 149
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, Feb 9, 2006 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Lynn,

Thank you for thinking of us! (And commiserating with the arena challenge!!) I feel your pain....

We saw Dr Gillis on Jan 10th.. The healing continues in all four injured structures in a positive direction. Fibers are long, patterns are good, swelling is minimal. We go back on March 7th for another recheck and if we can have him at 12 minutes trot without any negative ultrasound feedback, then we might get the go ahead to add some canter..!!

So many boarders complained to the owner regarding the horrible footing in the covered arena, that to her credit, the owner had the old footing removed and replaced it with a sand footing. It was much too deep for a couple of weeks, so getting our trot time built up has been difficult. But the footing in the arena has packed down alot better and we have had a stretch of absolutely gorgeous spring weather which has allowed the outside arena to be opened, so we are now finishing our six minute trot week and on Saturday will begin adding another two minutes. Hopefully we can keep on track to be able to add two minutes per week thru February which would bring us pretty close to the 12 minute goal.

The Ace has been a godsend...we have played with different amounts to see what works the best for him (and us). It has been helpful to have something that takes that "edge" off so we can spend our time having a productive rehab ride instead of a ride where you're worrying all the time that their antics will set you back because of re-injury..

What is happening with you and your mare??

Smiles,
Debra
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LL
Member
Username: Frances

Post Number: 214
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, Feb 12, 2006 - 10:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Debra,

I'm so glad to hear everything's progressing positively for you and Justin (and your daughter). Well done for your perseverance!

I'll post an update on my mare on my old thread ("elusive lameness") - thanks for asking!

All the best,

Lynn
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