Transporting Horses Post-Joint Injection

How long do I need to wait after sedation and injections before hauling my horse back home?
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Joint Injection
Traveling will not cause harm to the newly injected joints. | Photo: Erica Larson/The Horse

Q: I ship my mare to a clinic for her joint injections. How long do I need to wait after sedation and the injections before putting her back on the trailer and taking her home?

Sean, Maryland

A: You can ship immediately after joint injections as long as the horse is stable while standing still. Traveling will not cause harm to the newly injected joints. Veterinarians use different doses of various medications, depending on personal preference, but if your mare is very wobbly and could fall when you turn a corner, you might want to wait about 30 minutes after the injections. Generally, if she can walk and load easily, she can ship. It is fine for her to ship mildly sedated; however, you might want to pull her hay so she doesn’t choke. If the joints that were injected are on the lower limbs, you could also ask your vet to apply bandages to protect them from trauma and contamination during the journey.

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Written by:

Liz Arbittier, VMD, is a clinical assistant professor of Equine Field Service at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square.

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