When your vet gives medication to put in your horse’s feed, they are hoping that you will do the following:
- Mix it thoroughly with food that your horse enjoys;
- Ensure the dose is eaten entirely by your horse
- Monitor how your horse eats their food each time;
- Make sure to alert them if your horse is not getting the entire dose; and
- Watch for any adverse side effects like diarrhoea that may impact drug absorption.
99% of the time, our horses do not enjoy ingesting medication. This occurs because the horse does not like the drug or the drug has not been disguised properly by a palatable food.
Here we look at how best to ensure your horse consumes the medication he needs from the outset.
Tip 1: Choose the right food
Foods that are molassed coarse mixes and molassed chaffs are the most palatable, plus they have the advantage of being sticky and ordinarily able to be fed in reasonably large quantities.
Tip 2: Add flavour/odour
Flavours such as apple sauce, grated or pureed carrots, peppermint cordial, garlic powder, and fenugreek seeds.
Tip 3: Use a suitable feed receptacle
Offer the food in a clean area of the box free from forage so the horse can easily and eat any spillage.
Tip 4: Trick of the trade
Have the horse take a few mouthfuls of food before adding the medication. Take the bucket away, add the medication, mixed and the food is offered again.
Tip 5: Handling the first feed
Ensure the first feed is under supervision to ensure the horse east all of it. The food and water should then be mixed before the medication powder is added.
Notify your vet if your horse will not eat the medication so that an alternative solution may be found.