A report from the University of California describes development of a new analgesic medication to improve a horse’s comfort. The study is supported by the Equine Tribute and Memorial Fund Program that receives donations from horse lovers in celebration or memorialization of a horse, family member, friend or veterinarian. Robert Brosnan, DVM, PhD, DACVAA, is the lead investigator for this drug. He is a professor in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences.
The pain-relieving drug under consideration is reported to be as good or even better than morphine. Its development as a new class of drug might result in limited adverse side effects commonly seen with other analgesics such as NSAIDs—decreased gut motility, weight loss, adverse effects on wound healing strength, or support limb lameness.
Another point of interest is that detection of this medication in horses is achievable through breath testing. This means that concentrations are able to be fine-tuned based on drug levels in vivo as measured from a horse’s breath.
You can learn more about this research and find out how to donate to the Equine Tribute and Memorial Fund Program here.