A recent study compared the effects of two popular forms of NSAIDS that are often prescribed for various forms of pain and inflammation. Most common side effects reported are GI ulceration. Why GI ulceration? The reasons are because of how NSAIDS work. These drugs work by reducing prostaglandins. Prostaglandins promote inflammation, pain and fever. Prostaglandins are produced by cyclooxygenases enzymes, of which there are two main types-COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 are enzymes that are on most of the time having functions such as protecting the stomach lining. Cox-2 enzymes on the other hand are produced under certain circumstances such as in response to inflammatory mediators therefore producing inflammation, pain and fever.
NSAIDS that block prostaglandin formation can therefore also block the good COX-1 enzymes that protect the stomach at the same time that they block the COX-2 enzymes, therefore even though we get one positive result we also get the negative side effects of decreasing stomach protection.
Some NSAIDs are more specific to blocking COX 2 enzymes such as Firocoxib. A study was conducting which they compared three groups of horses 1/2 were given Bute the other half Firocoxib, and a group of control horses were given a placebo. After the study the horses in the Bute/Firocoxib group resulted in significantly more ulcers in the glandular portion of the stomach compared to the controlled group. however those horses given Bute had more severe ulcers.
In conclusion it appears using any type of NSAID can result in ulcer formation, however when using NSAID’s such as Bute the likelihood of developing more severe ulcers is high. This should all be taken into consideration when treating long term illness, injuries, pain etc with NSAIDs.
I offer other forms of pain management that do not involve mediation, such as chiropractic care, acupuncture and laser therapy. If you would like to discuss how we can manage your horses pain in the long run call me today at 949-290-0881!
– Dr. Colladay