What are some drugs that can calm horses?

white horse laying down on the side of a hill
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Introduction to what are some drugs that can calm horses

Anxiety in horses is very common as it can be brought by multiple factors such as isolation, boredom, and a natural tendency for this. Because of this, horse owners should familiarize themselves with the different ways of relieving their symptoms. Here, we will be discussing the use of tranquilizers, sedatives, and CBD to relax your horse.

Importance of calming drugs for horses

Anxiety in horses usually results in a domino effect that causes their health to deteriorate fast because of poor quality of sleep. This leads them to receive less rest and energy for the day. This results in poor performance, either for farm work or for competitive purposes.

It is also linked to problems with their digestion. The most common symptom for this is colic which is characterized by restlessness and whining from them.

With all of these issues, many horse owners naturally make it a priority to make their horses calmer and more relaxed with the use of various drugs.

Sedatives for horses

One of the most common ways for calming horses is by giving them sedatives. This is made to lessen their irritability and to make them calmer. A common side effect, though, is making them sleepy which is why it is mostly used before surgeries. These usually work fast and can last only for a couple of hours. When this is given to horse, they become unaware of their environment.

Tranquilizers for horses

If you still want your horse to be awake, tranquilizers are more recommended. This can stabilize their mood, lower their sensitivity to pain, and control their aggression without making them sleep. They are also aware of their environment when given this. Major tranquilizers are given for quickly reducing aggression and calming them down, while minor tranquilizers are used for treating anxiety.

Both of these work by affecting the neurotransmitters in their brain. This includes serotonin which is known to be responsible for feelings of satisfaction and happiness.

A downside with both of these, though, is that they usually have some side effects that may outweigh its benefits. This includes lethargy, confusion, decreased appetite, and a dip in their blood pressure. This makes it uncomfortable when regularly used. Because of this, both sedatives and tranquilizers are only recommended as a last resort for desperate owners.

It is important to note that while the word tranquilizer strikes vivid, movie driven scenes of not being able to move this is not the case. There are two categories of tranquilizers , which are minor and major. A minor one would be Valium, which many people take without issue. A major one would be acepromazine  or fluphenazine. These are more for when you really want them to relax. An example would be if you need them to rest after an injury or something like this. It will just mellow them out to the point of not wanting to move much. They all have their place, but just wanted to make sure no one thought we were talking about making them paralyzed, as a way of relaxing them.

CBD for horses

In case you want a mild and all-natural alternative that is safe to be given every day without issues, you may want to check out CBD for your horse.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a compound found in the hemp plant that is known to have a lot of benefits for horses. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system of their body to provide health benefits including reducing anxiety. Other benefits include reducing chronic pain, providing relief from seizures, and improving their sleep quality.

Since hemp is a naturally growing plant, giving CBD to your horse is just like feeding them their usual food. This is an important factor that gives it an edge over other supplements given that horses’ have a limited diet.

How can you give CBD to horses?

CBD is given in various ways, with the best one depending on that which is most convenient for you.

The first one is through oil. Here, CBD is mixed with a carrier oil and then measured and given using an oral dropper. This is the most popular as you can accurately measure its dose in this method.

If you find this too tiresome to do every day, you may also want to try giving CBD pellets. These are mixed with proteins and carbohydrates to make it more nutritious for horses. In case you already give them pellets before, they won’t take much time getting used to this method.

Other forms of CBD include treats, tinctures, and salves for horses.

Does CBD have side effects for horses?

Unlike sedatives and tranquilizers, CBD does not have side effects as long as it is given in appropriate doses. However, if you give too much of it, they may experience the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain

As long as you stick to the manufacturer’s instructions, horses generally won’t experience any of these side effects. You can also talk to your vet to get their input on dosage, and possible interactions if your horse is already using other drugs. Keeping clear lines of communication with your vet is generally the best course of action when trying to help your horse out.

Conclusion to what are some drugs that can calm horses

For calming horses, sedatives and tranquilizers should be the last resort as they heavily affect the horses’ performance and also come with side effects. We recommend using CBD instead as it can blend seamlessly with their diet and lifestyle, can be fully natural, and comes with minimal to no side effects when used properly. In case you are interested in using it, start reading more about its different blends, forms, and more to prepare yourself before purchasing it.

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