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No Bute/Buteless supplements? Effects of long-term Bute useage?

23 replies

Ellybellyboo · 02/12/2019 16:41

Has anyone tried any of these and would you recommend it?

Or does anyone have a horse on Bute long term?

We have an arthritic retiree - she’s not ridden anymore, apart from DD will occasionally hop on for a mooch back from the paddock to her stable, or she’ll take her in hand for a wander down the lane.

We’ve tried pretty much every supplement that has been recommended - including stuff like devils claw, turmeric, etc, etc, but none of it ever seems to work

We give her half a sachet of Danillon a day in her breakfast. Quite often she’ll forget herself and have a good gallop/buck/fart across the field so we’ll give her an extra dose with her tea in the evening. She’s doing great, no lameness and generally very full of beans

Our vet is concerned about long term Danillon use and is keen for us to get her off it and manage her with supplements

As I say, I’ve tried so many supplements that have never made any difference. I saw the Equine America one mentioned in a web article so I just wondered if anyone had had good results from it

I’m loathe to take her off what is a pretty low dose of bute for yet another supplement which doesn’t work when we can see it’s working


OP posts:
Astronutter · 02/12/2019 22:23

How old is she and what is a realistic estimation for how long she has left? I also have an arthritic retiree who has gone onto Bute pretty much daily for the last year. Mine however is 26, so both my and my vets logic is the probability is her lifespan will be shorter than the time it would take negative effects from long term Bute usage to manifest. I’ll hate it at the time but I figure I’d rather she have 3-5 comfortable years than say 7-8 years with constant low level pain from her arthritis.

Ellybellyboo · 02/12/2019 22:35


She’s 20

I figure I’d rather she have 3-5 comfortable years than say 7-8 years with constant low level pain from her arthritis

This is where I’m coming from to be honest. The Danillon is working, she’s enjoying her life and I’d rather go for quality over quantity

We have tried so many supplements and they just don’t seem to make any difference.

OP posts:
Booboostwo · 03/12/2019 14:51

As above. What is the point in giving her a long but painful life? Horses live in the moment. Give her the bute she needs to be comfortable now and make any decisions you need to make in the future if she experiences side-effects.

Ellybellyboo · 03/12/2019 20:43


I totally agree, but our vet is very keen on us getting her off it.

Our old vet would just give us a box every few months but she left the practice so we’ve got a new one.

He’ll only give us 10 sachets at a time to “see how she goes” while going on about supplements

OP posts:
ClientListQueen · 03/12/2019 20:50

I had good results with two supplements
Equine answers premier flex plus
Boswellia powder which is meant to be a natural anti inflammatory
I'm a bit suspicious of "woo" unnecessary stuff but there was an actual visible difference with less stiffness

Ellybellyboo · 03/12/2019 22:51


We’ve tried the Premier Flex Plus and it was fab when she was very first diagnosed

The last supplement we gave her was Duraflex Elite which contains Boswelia - didn’t help enough to keep her off the Bute unfortunately

I think the arthritis is now at the point where she needs pain relief - she had an X-ray this time last year and the changes were pretty significant from the X-ray she had when first diagnosed 18 months before.

OP posts:
Theresahairbrushinthefridge · 04/12/2019 11:26

I think you need to get tough with your vet.

It's about quality of life. You know your horse best.

At the end of the day you could have her PTS tomorrow. You have tried alternatives. This is what you want to do.

Ellybellyboo · 04/12/2019 20:41

Thanks all

Had to phone vet today for some more Bute

Geared myself up for an argument but our vet was out so spoke to different one - totally agreed with me and gave me a box

I’m going to ask if we can transfer over to her I think.

OP posts:
Floralnomad · 04/12/2019 20:43

Absolutely agree with the pp, she’s your horse just tell the vet what you want and if he doesn’t like it find a vet that does . We’ve had horses / ponies on long term Bute and it’s not been an issue , obviously it’s lovely if you could find a supplement that worked as well ( and would likely be cheaper) but if you’ve tried and can’t then there’s not much more to say .

Trewser · 06/12/2019 11:24

I used vetrofen with great success for about 18 months. Had to go back onto bute and then became a lot worse so was pts sadly, but the vetrofen definitely worked for 18 months or so.

Ellybellyboo · 06/12/2019 12:15


That’s one we haven’t tried so I’ll have a proper look at the ingredients later

I did notice that it couldn’t be used with Bute though. Even when the supplements were working well, she still needed the odd dose of Bute if she’d been up to something silly so I’m not sure how it would work

Thanks though!

OP posts:
Trewser · 06/12/2019 12:39

I used it with bute occasionally with no ill effects. Its quite expenstive but I would definitely use it again.

Ellybellyboo · 06/12/2019 15:32


I’ll have a chat with our vet as it looks good

Slightly concerned about being able to use it alongside Bute during the initial loading period. As soon as we stop the Bute, she’s lame so would need to keep her on it for a bit

OP posts:
Hereandback · 10/12/2019 17:44

I have, and am using Cortaflex Super HA with excellent results, my mare was diagnosed with arthritis and was set to use Bute long-term, I kept her on Bute daily for about 6 weeks reducing her exercise whilst giving the Cortaflex and glucosamine. Fortunately now she shows no signs and is very keen to work. I feel it's taken about 5 years off her and the way she feels. (She's 20) I still Bute her before and after a long run but that's more of a precaution.

Ellybellyboo · 11/12/2019 09:46


I’ll have a look into it. Haven’t come across it before.

Our vet was reluctant to use the Vetrofen as we can’t keep her on the Bute for the first 10 days

We’ve had to up her dose to 1 sachet of Bute a day the last week or so as she was struggling a bit so am keen to get her back down.

To be honest, I don’t think we’ll ever get her off it completely. Her arthritis is pretty severe. She has a home for life with us and if she’s happy and pain free then we’re all good. We always said if we can’t keep her sound enough for a canter and buck across the paddock when the fancy took her then what was the point in keeping her going.

OP posts:
Hereandback · 11/12/2019 10:55

They do it in two strengths, Regular and Super I just went straight for the super, I get mine locally but this is it

The glucosamine is just the HCI 12000.
I hope, if you do try it, it works as well for you as it is for me. What about a lameness test to be able to gauge that it's helping?

OldSpeclkledHen · 15/12/2019 18:19

I think Danilon is kinder to the stomach rather than bute, and tbh if my vet refused to supply the drugs to keep my horse sound, I'd change vets!

Just recently though, we had the vet for jabs, and they recommended a new product called Boz Merix? Sorry I can't spell it!

Hope your old pony has a happy few years left enjoying being a horse 😊

GOODCAT · 15/12/2019 18:28

My pony had arthritis and was on bute from 20 until she died at 28. I happily used bute as it is proven to reduce pain. The alternatives are not proven.

Also it will wear off after so many hours so if the vet says one a day split it in two (at least) and put in separate feeds.

My mum has arthritis it is incredibly painful and no way would I not use proper painkiller on a pony.

Ellybellyboo · 16/12/2019 09:59

Thanks all

She had her jabs on Friday and we saw our very first vet who diagnosed the arthritis (she’s been on maternity leave, but we weren’t transferred back to her when she returned for some reason) and I’ve asked to be transferred back to her

She gave her a thorough check over and we had a good talk and came to the conclusion that Danillon works, she’s pain free so we’ll continue with it. She’s on 1 sachet a day at the moment, which is still a fairly low dose anyway

At 20 she’s still relatively young so ideally, yes, manage her with a supplement, but realistically it’s not going to happen

Pony is in great condition apart from the arthritis and she’s such a huge character - she busted out of her stable overnight and broke into the feed room. It’s such a shame for her, arthritis is a horrible thing

OP posts:
Tashalburrows · 16/12/2019 19:01

We have a 29 year old welsh pony. He has been on half a bite once a day for about 12 months and it was the best thing we ever did for him.
He has never acted his age but since going onto bute he thinks he is a 2 year old and is back to being boss of the field, he gets up from rolling so much better and he struts put on hacks with my daughter, keeping up with ponies twice his size and managing to bolt past everybody on the gallop track we have.

I had the same problem with our first vet - didn't want him on it long term and have I tried supplements. I worked in a horse shop so tried everything going. I ended up swapping vets - ultimately something is going to finish him off - and if he can have comfortable and fun years before that happens then it's worth it.
You know your pony best - Mr B is having the best winter since we got him 6 years ago, he also has magnetic stable boots and we have put him onto dried nettle in his feed.
At this rate he will love forever !

Vanhi · 18/12/2019 22:24

Bute can be a problem for some things, particularly if there's a chance they have stomach ulcers. Otherwise I think you and pp are right - it's working for her. I also have a 20 year old retiree. We're into extra time now so I just enjoy the time I have with him, and make sure he enjoys it too.

Sparrowlegs248 · 26/12/2019 14:54

Hi, my old TB got on very well with cortaflex for a few years. He started 1 bute a day aged around 24 I think, and having run out of cortaflex I noticed as he got older, it didn't seem to be helping so much. At around 29 he started having devils claw granules. (D &H). These helped. My 32 yr old pony also has them.

At around 31 he started having 2 bute a day sone days. If he's been dicking about in the field, for a couple if days before and after the farrier etc .

He was pts aged 34 after having a field accident. 10 full years on 1 bute a day with no I'll effects. He did always have large wet feeds, so the tint sachet of bute was lost in it. I don't know if this helped.

Sparrowlegs248 · 26/12/2019 14:55

Something else that helped a lot- switching to Allen and Page feeds, veteran vitality and fast fibre. No cereals or mixes.

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