Previcox for horses with arthritis

Previcox for Horses with Arthritis

Last updated on March 25th, 2023 at 07:51 pm

Horses with Arthritis can Benefit From Previcox

Is your horse in pain?

Previcox for horses with arthritis could be the answer.

A horse with arthritis can greatly benefit from Previcox, especially when you start thinking about how to control pain.  As a barn owner and operator, we see a lot of different kinds of horses.  We even own a horse that’s a great horse but struggles from arthritis.  He has had a great life and now mostly helps young kids as a lesson horse.  Previcox helps him maintain a level of health that allows him to still be in the rotation and not be in pain.

Previcox (Firocoxib) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug of the COX-2 inhibitor (coxib) class, currently approved for use in horses and dogs. Firocoxib was the first COX-2 inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for horses.  Firocoxib is not intended or approved for use in human medicine. (wiki)

Where did Previcox come from?

So where did this drug come from? And what is the dosage form?

Previcox,  (Firocoxib) is manufactured by Merial and is an economical, effective and enteric-friendly NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that is used in dogs to control pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis. It comes in tablet form. Previcox is an approved animal drug.

Equioxx, (Firocoxib) is the equivalent drug used in horses to control pain and inflammation, typically in paste form.  Equioxx is not as cheap as Previcox is, but Equioxx is approved by the FDA for horses, in fact, it was the first COX-2 approved for horses.  The increased cost may be attributed to the cost of placing the firocoxib into paste form for equine application. It does not come in tablet form.

Previcox dosage amount?

The correct oral dosage of Firocoxib for horses is 0.1 Mg/kg.  Basically, that means for a 1000 pound horse you’re going to give it around 45 mg.  Previcox comes in tablet form and you will need to figure out how much to give your horse.  Typically it comes in a 57 mg pill.  So you will need to get the weight of your horse and then do a little math.  The tablet form is ok for your horse, you just need to get it into its food, still in tablet form. This is a great way to control pain, and to manage what your horse is going through.

In this video, it is explained about score lines on pills.  Equioxx comes with 57MG and Previcox can come in 57mg and 227mg.  Many people purchase the 227mg because then they can quarter the pill for their horse and it is more cost-effective.  However, the 227mg Previcox pills are only guaranteed for half size, not for quarter size.  Something to consider…

Also if you are looking for a pill-splitter Amazon is the place for sure.  This one also has a liquid cup and pill crusher. 

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How to weigh your horse

The weight of your horse only has to be an estimate so that you can calculate the amount of Previcox you are going to use.

You can get a horse measuring tape from Amazon for cheap, and check the article on this site for detailed information.   They have a horse weight calculator you can use for free.  The horse tape itself will have all of the information on it that you will need.  It has a number of different scales on it based on the height of your horse.

Most tack stores will also carry the required equipment to measure your horse properly.

You can get the height of your horse by measuring the height of the withers in inches and dividing by 4.  So a 16 HH horse is 64 inches.  A 16-2 HH horse is 66 inches…etc.

Usually, 15 hand horses are around 450-550, 16 hand horses are a little more.  Draught horses are even more.  It’s important that you use the measuring tapes and calculators to get a close estimate.  Your vet will also be able to help you.

If you only have access to a sewing style measuring tape you can use it like in this video below to get an estimate.

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Equioxx comes in a paste form and will be administered by your vet.

Previcox loading dose for horses

If your horse is coming off of bute (Phenylbutazone which is a pain management drug) then you can start the Previcox supplement at the normal dosage because your horse will not be in as much pain.  However, if your horse is in a lot of pain you have a decision to make. Equine therapy is a significant part of equine ownership and a horse’s life.

  1. Bute and Previcox – You can give these drugs together but it is a short term strategy.  It’s not good for their livers long term.  So if your horse is in a bunch of pain you can give a little Bute until the Previcox starts to manage the inflammation in a couple of day’s time.
  2. Load Previcox or Equioxx.  You can go through a loading phase.  Check with your vet but you can overdose for the first couple of days so that your horse gets it in its system.  From there you would back off to the right dosage.  Again only in consultation with your vet.

How long does it take for Previcox to work in horses?

You should expect to see a difference in a couple of days, and depending on the horse it will vary.  However, you can also watch to see if any inflammation decrease happens, which after 4-5 days should be evident.

After this period your horse should be feeling better. It may take a little more time to get up to top speed, but the previcox/equioxx will help.

How fast does Equioxx work?

Because Equioxx is an oral paste the uptake by the horse is a little different and may even be faster.  Studies have shown that in as little as 4 hours the drug has begun to do what it is intended to do.  (1)

What about Bute with Firocoxib?

As noted above Bute is really about how you are managing pain.  A long term for helping your horse is critical.  These two drugs should not be mixed on a daily basis as a long term plan.  It is really hard on their livers.  If it is just short term it is ok, to get the horse started on the Previcox. If your vet is going to prescribe Previcox it is likely for an inflammation or pain type of prognosis in your horse. If they prescribe Previcox you can also use bute but you will need to manage it very closely.

Previcox side effects in horses

The side effects of Previcox are typical for those seen with other medicines in this product class (NSAIDs) such as oral lesions (tissue damage) in the mouth of horses, soft feces/diarrhea or lethargy. These reactions are generally of a transitory nature and are reversible when the treatment is stopped.

It has also been seen for Equioxx that soft stool and diarrhea are common.

NSAID’s are also known to alter some of the biologies in the horse’s gut.  The gut of a horse is a very delicate, and intricate place.  It is worth speaking with your vet especially if your horse is a hard keeper, or prone to colic about this.  It’s not a serious side effect or issue, but doing your due diligence, especially if you already know your horse has some gut issues is prudent.

Where can I get Previcox and Equioxx?

In Canada, you can only get these drugs through your Vet, even though they are in the approved drug category.   At BHR we primarily use Previcox and have a lot of experience with it in our horses and dogs. Horse owners will need to speak with their vet about what they feel comfortable doing. Most horse owners when dealing with extra-label drugs, or off label drugs, or even drugs in the approved drug category need to consult with their vet.

You can’t get these drugs at your local pet store, but you can get them over the counter with a prescription. It is also important to know that Previcox is not a human drug, but it. is a cost effective medication.

Online retailer 2  – American Retailer – Will only ship to the USA and will need to verify with your vet first.

What is Extra Label Drug Use in Horses, or Off label drug use?

In the ’90s congress and the FDA made a provision for vets that were about extra-label drug use, some cal this off label drug use.. Essentially what this meant is that if the chemical in the drug was ok for use with a particular animal but that animal wasn’t listed on the label it was still ok to use. This is the exact nature of Previcox for horses, is that it was intended for dogs but the chemical in the box is the same as Equioxx. There are still provisions that must be met for the extra-label drug use, but if those are met then it is ok. (Source) This means that there are a number of drugs that can have use in horses, even though they are designed for a different species. If you are considering drug use in horses it is still best to consult your vet.

You should also take a moment to speak with your equine insurance companies representative or at least go over their policies. Extra label drugs, off label drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, enteric friendly nsaid, and others can affect how your policy is determined.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that the use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. See your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment for your pet if you have any concerns.

Where can I learn more about Previcos, Horses and Training?

The best place to learn about horses is to go to a local boarding facility and see if they offer lessons, education or even work/volunteer programs. Many vets and ranches are too busy to really give you any help, but boarding facilities usually have someone that is giving lessons or will allow you to help do chores. Tv programs like heartland, or Yellowstone are not the best places to learn.

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