Thursday, May 21, 2009
We've had 2 of these in the clinic in the past year. Its no joke, they really do die quite often. We've been very lucky in that the owners felt that something was wrong quickly enough to do something. They got them in and yes literally we have to open wounds to provide drainage anywhere they are swollen. Its a bad deal. Hopefully more people will realize they could be next.
Tim Stewart, DVM
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If you are receiving this email then you are either a friend or fellow barrel racer. We have all given our share of shots especially banamine. Most of us carry it in our trailers for emergencies and are not afraid to give our horse a shot if we think something is wrong or if the threat of colic appears. I have been around horses all my life and I too have given hundreds of banamine shots in the muscle-because as it says on the bottle-its safe either IV or IM. Well, I hope this will make you think twice about giving your horse another banamine shot in the muscle.
I gave my horse Harley 10cc of banamine and B12 (in the neck) last Tuesday night because she wasn't acting like herself, wasn't eating, labored breathing, slight temp, etc. Her run at Cullman was not up to her ability and she was acting funny Monday and Tuesday. I figured it couldn't hurt her right? By Thursday morning she could hardly walk and something was obviously wrong. I loaded up and went to MSU. She was admitted that afternoon and she is still their. Your probably saying that I used a contaminated syringe or needle or I had a bad bottle of banamine or I didn't give it in the right place or this could never happen to me or my horse, right?!!! Well I assure you that this is not the case. This only happens with banamine (she had a B12 shot on the other side of her neck). It is very rare and there hasn't been a case at MSU in 5 or 6 years. Somehow a strain of bacteria grows at the injection site and causes swelling (which is fluid and infection) and if not treated it is fatal. The bacteria grows in the dark and doesn't require air to survive. There is no cure, no magical antibiotic for this type of bacteria (Clostridium I think its called). The only cure is cutting through flesh, fat, and muscle to allow light and air to, hopefully, kill the bacteria. This is VERY expensive to treat. So, after looking at the pictures of my mare please ask yourself "Is a $10 shot of banamine worth $6,000-$8,000 in vet bills or possibly your horses' life?? I'm not saying to stop using banamine. It is safe to give it IV or orally.
I hope you can learn something from my nightmare. Please say a prayer for her. She is not "out of the woods" yet.
Angela Johnson Hudson
12 Time APHA World & Res. World Champion