Which medication should you use when your horse needs pain relief? Both Bute (Phenylbutazone) and Banamine (Flunixin meglumine) are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but they can be used for different situations. Bute is usually given for musculoskeletal pain, such as lameness. Whereas Banamine is usually given for smooth muscle pain (ie: colic) or ocular discomfort (ie: corneal ulcers). Bute should only be given for a short duration of time as prolonged use can result in gastric ulcers or kidney and liver problems.
Both drugs have injectable forms that may be given intravenously by your veterinarian. Veterinarians commonly dispense Banamine and Bute to clients to use at home and give by mouth as needed. Dispensed on label Banamine comes as a paste, whereas Bute comes as a paste, powder, or tablets. These drugs can be used for temporary relief, but in certain cases, further assessment or diagnostics may need to be performed. If you have questions with dosing and product usage, please contact your veterinarian. #TheMoreYouKnow