Although bisphosphonates are becoming known in the racing world as a new drug of regulatory concern, a report on Spin to Win Rodeo indicates that some veterinarians are finding the medications useful for laminitis treatment when used appropriately.
Osphos, the American-made version of Tildren, was approved by the FDA last year for use in non-breeding adult horses, and Dr. Josh Harvey of Decatur, Texas told the magazine that the drug is useful in its treatment of navicular bone pain. Sometimes, Harvey said, it makes a difference in seven days, and a field study indicated that the effects of Osphos can help a horse with chronic pain for as long as six months.
Harvey pointed out that if Osphos helps reduce swelling impacting subchondral bone, it may positively impact cartilage health. The report cautioned that Osphos and other bisphosphonates should be given only as part of a treatment plan designed to address the cause of a horse's lameness.
In the Thoroughbred world, regulators are concerned that bisphosphonates may be given to younger horses, altering their bone development and possibly making bones more brittle during the years they are placed under high stress on the track. Bisphosphonates are believed to live in bone for years, which makes them useful as a treatment in the approved age and use groups, but can have deleterious effects on younger animals dealing with more strain.
Read more at Spin to Win Rodeo
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