Gabapentin 300 mg/mL, Oral Suspension, 1000mL
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Musculoskeletal disorders are a common problem in horses, particularly performance horses. They are also the most prevalent health problem in aging horses.1 While these may not be life-threatening, since they are painful, they remain an important welfare and husbandry issue. Musculoskeletal disorders typically affect a horse’s ability to move, with the severity of impact being dependent upon the specific problem.2 In equines, musculoskeletal injuries are a chief source of debilitating pain in horses, as well as financial loss and loss of performance. In performance horses, joint disease and tendon injuries are very common.
When musculoskeletal pain, acute or chronic, arises, the cause may lie in the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and/or muscles or the nervous system. In the case of most horses, damage to either the bones, tendons, ligaments and/or joints are the primary causes of pain.
Laminitis is a common and extremely painful condition that affects horses. It affects the tissues (laminae) bonding the hoof wall to pedal bone in the hoof. This sometimes results in the pedal bone sinking or rotating within the hoof under the weight of the horse.3
Osteoarthritis is a major cause of pain and decreased performance in horses. This is an inflammation of the joints and surrounding bone which causes progressive deterioration of the affected joint or joints. While healthy joint cartilage can withstand the normal wear and tear demanded of many horses, long-term inflammation can damage the joint cartilage and other joint tissues, resulting in chronic pain.
Myopathies are disorders that primarily affect the muscle. Exertional myopathies (e.g., "tying up") are myopathies that directly involve the muscle fiber. These can directly result in joint or muscle pain, or can give rise to joint damage over time.
Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons. Since tendons do not stretch very much, the demands of work or performance can overstress a horse’s tendons. Occasionally, tendons can even become torn, and tend to heal slowly because they are poorly supplied with blood.2 The inflammation associated with tendinitis can also cause chronic pain.
Bone disorders usually stem from trauma (e.g., fractures, cracks). Infections that cause bone tissue to break down can also lead to bone disorders. In other situations, diseases of the ligaments or tendons may cause secondary bone damage.2,3 The inflammation associated with bone disorders almost always gives rise to chronic pain in the horse.
Joint disorders are often caused by trauma to the joint, long-term inflammation, developmental problems, or infections. Traumatic injuries can cause dislocation, fracture, or the distortion of a joint, arthritis, or the rupture of nearby ligaments or membranes.2
NOTE: The Association of Racing Commissioners International Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances has designated gabapentin a CLASS 4 DRUG.
Where to buy Gabapentin
Gabapentin is available in the U.S. through pharmaceutical manufacturers and through veterinary custom compounding companies.
This product carries several potential drug interactions. Please consult your veterinarian prior to beginning any treatment regimen.
FOR RX ONLY: A valid prescription from a licensed veterinarian is required for dispensing this medication.
1van Weeren P.R., et. al. Disease in Aged Horses and Its Management. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2016 Aug;32(2):229-47.
5Young J.M., et. al. Efficacy of orally administered gabapentin in horses with chronic thoracic limb lameness. Vet Anaesth Analg. 2020 Mar;47(2):259-266.