Intestinal Healing Delayed With Banamine and Etodolac

Horses with colic are often treated with Banamine, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that effectively reduces pain and inflammation. Although Banamine (flunixin meglumine) helps colicky horses feel and look better, the drug can have

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Horses with colic are often treated with Banamine, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that effectively reduces pain and inflammation. Although Banamine (flunixin meglumine) helps colicky horses feel and look better, the drug can have unwelcome side effects. Like other NSAIDs, Banamine can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and impair the healing process in the equine gut.


Researchers at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine recently designed a study to determine if a newer drug, etodolac, represents a safer alternative to Banamine for treatment of pain associated with intestinal injury.
Etodolac belongs to the drug class known as COX-2 (cyclo-oxygenase) inhibitors. These medicines effectively reduce pain and inflammation, and they are typically associated with fewer gastrointestinal problems than the older NSAIDs. Marketed as Etogesic, etodolac is a canine pain reliever that is being used increasingly in the treatment of equine pain.


For the study, 24 horses were anesthetized. During surgery, a portion of each horse’s lower intestine was clamped for two hours, effectively stopping the blood flow to that section of gut. “We created an injury equivalent to an intestinal twist that occurs with colic,” said Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, associate professor of equine surgery at North Carolina State University.


After the intestinal blood supply was restored, horses were assigned to one of four groups. Groups one, two, and three received one of three treatments: Banamine, etodolac, or saline solution. The fourth group was not treated. Two intestinal biopsies were then taken from each horse; one from the area of injured intestine, and one from a portion of healthy intestine

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Rallie McAllister, MD, grew up on a horse farm in Tennessee, and has raised and trained horses all of her life. She now lives in Lexington, Ky., on a horse farm with her husband and three sons. In addition to her practice of emergency and corporate medicine, she is a syndicated columnist (Your Health by Dr. Rallie McAllister), and the author of four health-realted books, including Riding For Life, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.ExclusivelyEquine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.””allie McAllister

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