Compounding Drugs for Horses

While compounded medications can serve a useful purpose when used responsibly, misuse of these medications can have serious consequences.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

For attempting to save a few dollars in treatment by compounding drugs, you could end up with a serious horse medical problem on your hands. (Credit: Journal)

Let’s say when Old Red comes in for his supper tonight, he has some swelling on his leg, which troubles you a little. 

The next day, the swelling hasn’t gone down, so you ask your veterinarian to check it out.

Your veterinarian examines the leg and then mixes up a batch of Furacin with DMSO into an ointment that you can apply to Old Red’s leg to bring down the swelling.

That’s drug compounding.

That might startle you, because drug compounding has become somewhat controversial in the last few years, but this case meets the exact requirements of legal compounding: Your veterinarian has seen a specific need – your horse’s leg – and has prescribed for that specific problem a drug that doesn’t exist –the antibiotic Furacin already mixed with the liniment dimethyl sulfoxide in an ointment.

While compounded medications can serve a useful purpose when used responsibly, misuse of these medications can have serious consequences, ranging from an injury not being treated to a potentially fatal overdose. For attempting to save a few dollars in treatment, you could risk killing your horse or end up spending thousands of dollars in treatment to save the horse, which may never return to its original usefulness.

Veterinarians have a range of options when they decide how to treat your horse, from compounded drugs to manufactured drugs to generics. As horse owners, we trust them to make the right call. Sometimes, that is best done with the help of a compounded drug. 

Continue reading this article in the December American Quarter Horse Journal. 

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