As most owners of competitive sport horses know, prescription drug therapies, in conjunction with a quality diet and supplements, are a major factor in keeping our horses feeling and performing their best. While there are many prescription medications you might choose to aid your horse, the most frequently purchased compound at the FarmVet Pharmacy is Methocarbamol powder. Inspired by Methocarbamol’s popularity with FarmVet customers, we sat down with our Pharmacist-In-Charge, Susan Morrison, to gain some insider information about this prescription compound.
Methocarbamol is a skeletal muscle relaxant prescribed by veterinarians to treat and alleviate inflammatory pain in horses. This musculoskeletal system inflammation can be the result of myositis, neurological issues, muscle or ligament strains, and vertebral disc disease. Methocarbamol addresses these issues by reducing muscle spasms within the spinal cord with little-to-no adverse side effects. Administering Methocarbamol as part of a prescribed veterinary course of treatment does not pose any harmful risks to the horse’s sensitive gastrointestinal system or cardiac muscle.
Q&A with the Pharmacist-In-Charge
Q.1: What are the benefits of using the Methocarbamol Powder vs. other forms?
Answer: Methocarbamol Powder is a formulation featuring stevia sweetener and a common flavoring for palatability. Tabs are sometimes available, however, the horse will often eat around the tabs or spit them out preventing the horse from receiving the prescribed dosage. The tabs do not feature any sort of sweetener, so even when used as a feed-through on top of grain, rejection may still be likely. As a result, the powder compound version is often a more palatable option for the horse and results in better adherence to therapy.
Q.2: What sizes of Methocarbamol Powder are available from FarmVet?
Answer: Whether you are treating one horse or several, FarmVet offers several dosages for your individual needs. The average dosage for a horse is 5 grams. Methocarbamol powder comes with one 5-gram scoop to measure the recommended dosage. The powder compound is available in a 25 scoop per volume or a 75 scoop per volume size. It is also available in a pre-measured, sealed packet. The pre-measured packets come 25 to a box and are exceptionally convenient for traveling or when someone other than yourself will be administering the powder compound dosage.
Q.3: What about administering Methocarbamol powder to a pony?
Answer: The average dosage is 2.5 grams for a pony. FarmVet does offer a 75 scoop per volume size for ponies, complete with a 2.5-gram scoop.
Q.4: Is it important that the scoop of Methocarbamol be leveled for accurate dosing? How do I know if the dosage is consistent from one day to the next?
Answer: These are some tips to ensure accurate dosing regardless of who is administering it. These scoop calibration tips will ensure that a consistent dosage is being given regardless of the source of administration.
- Roll container jar back and forth to loosen powder and break up any clumps
- Overfill scoop
- Tap scoop two times on level surface
- Level off the top of the scoop
Q.5: Are there any side effects from Methocarbamol Powder?
Answer: The side effects are lethargy and drowsiness. Methocarbamol does contain sedative properties to relax anxiety associated with pain and works through suppressing the central nervous system. Ataxia is rare but can occur. It is always best to contact your prescribing veterinarian for concerns regarding any change in behavior or coordination in your horse.
Q.6: Any tips for picky eaters?
Answer: It can be mixed with applesauce, carrot baby food, and molasses. It may also be fed-through with daily grain rations with oil.
Compounded Forms of Methocarbamol
Methocarbamol is currently available through FarmVet with a veterinary prescription in the following compounded forms:
- Methocarbamol paste
- Methocarbamol suspension
- Methocarbamol powder
Disclaimer: Prescription drugs are potentially and inherently dangerous if not used correctly. Always consult your licensed veterinarian prior to beginning any new regimen. Always check with your governing regulatory organization to ensure Methocarbamol powder is competition safe prior to use.