This is the first part of a new topic/series that we at BRD wanted to share with our readers: emergency kit must-haves. We understand that part of the huge problem with emergencies is that they’re unpredictable, and we therefore wanted to start sharing information on how to build a kit that helps you be prepared for anything.
This month, we will be covering flunixin.
Flunixin, sometimes branded as “Banamine” or “Prevail” is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is often sold in injectable or oral paste solutions. NSAIDs work to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever. Flunixin can be used on horses, cattle, pigs, and other animals. Flunixin has a similar relationship with horses and ibuprofen does with humans.
Flunixin treats pain because it is an NSAID, and is therefore great to have around when your horse has any sort of emergency or pain, from colic to general minor injuries. Other NSAIDs that are safe for horses include phenylbutazone, and firocoxib.
Flunixin can help reduce a fever. A normal body temperature for a horse is between 98.5- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit. Because flunixin reduces a fever, it is important to take the temperature of your horse before giving them the medicine, to get an accurate analysis of the horse’s overall wellbeing.
Flunixin Application Dos:
- Give it to your horse in a paste or liquid form
- If you have the injectable solution, it is still safest and best practice to administer the drug orally
- In rare cases, a veterinarian may administer an injection or through an IV. However, because of the risks of a potentially lethal condition called Clostridial myositis, it is best to avoid injecting it altogether. Leave injecting this drug up to the discretion of your veterinarian.
- Flunixin can be administered at 0.5mg per pound, or 125mg of for flunixin for each 250 lbs.
Flunixin Application Don’ts:
- Inject directly into the muscle of your horse
- Administer more than once every 12 hours
- Use on pregnant horses – the effect of flunixin on pregnancy has not yet been determined
- Use on horses intended for human consumption (we assume this probably doesn’t apply to our readers, but it is an important cautionary note)
General Cautionary Notes:
- Flunixin last 12 hours and should not be given more frequently than that. It may take up to 30 minutes for your horse to start feeling the benefits of Flunixin
- Flunixin does not cause sedation – however, if a horse is in pain and given flunixin, it may calm down simply because the pain is mitigated. If your horse loses consciousness, it may be time to call your vet
- Like any NSAID, Flunixin can cause kidney and GI problems if given too frequently
- Flunixin can be safely administered to foals, but it is advised to use particular caution and be extra conscientious of proper dosage
- While flunixin is regularly used to treat the pain associated with colic, please be aware that it does not actually treat the colic itself
When used properly, flunixin can provide quick relief for horses that may be injured, in pain from colic, or other conditions. Because of this, it is great to have on hand when things go wrong.
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Veterinarians in Worcester, MA. (April 3, 2020). “Five Things To Know About Flunixin (Banamine).” EquidDoc Veterinary Services. https://www.equiddocvet.com/five-things-to-know-about-flunixin-banamine/
DeLoache, P. (February 13, 2019) “10 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know about Banamine.” Southern Equine Service. https://www.southernequineservice.com/doctors-say/2019/2/13/10-things-your-vet-wants-you-to-know-about-banamine
Teixera, R. (n.d). “Risks of giving intramuscular banamine to horses.” University of Minnesota Extension. https://extension.umn.edu/horse-health/risks-giving-intramuscular-banamine-horses#:~:text=Banamine%20is%20a%20nonsteroidal%20anti,on%20hand%20to%20relieve%20pain.