Charcoal versus drugs…

There has been a great deal of coverage in the press of late of substances banned by the FEI turning up in a variety of horses across a range of equine disciplines.

The use of Reserpine, a little used human antipsychotic tranquiliser to calm down hot and stressey horses is a major case in point.  However, with the addition of ammonium chloride which has the potential for abuse as a nerve blocking agent, metformin, an anti-diabetic drug with a potential welfare risk and levothyroxine an exogenous thyroid hormone replacement, the plot thickens.

Gamma-butyrolactone and gamma-hydroxybutyrate are also both now prohibited as both have potential to elevate growth hormones.

Fundamentally, all of these drugs were developed for the human market, where broadly speaking, several of them act as hormones to govern the body’s messenger system.

Whilst their widespread use in horses is generally frowned upon, they may well have a role to play in helping horses with specific problems and we would normally applaud this activity were it not for one significant and fundamental stumbling block.  This is that they have not been tested or trialled over a reasonable length of time so as to assess their long-term affects both deleterious and otherwise and therefore they should not be used until such tests are carried out and the long-term use of these drugs is proved to be safe and effective.

Whilst it’s very important that we have a competitive horse industry, we should not hazard the lives of horses beyond the normal risk factors involved in racing, eventing and so forth.  Fortunately, there is a way of safeguarding horses and taking unlooked-for and unwanted drugs out of their system.  This method has been around for a long time and it involves adding quantities of active “Happy Tummy”™ charcoal into the horses’ feed.

The reader may or may not know that when a human is taken into hospital as an emergency drug-overdose case, these unfortunate individuals are given a large quantity of charcoal to take the drugs out of their system.

Accordingly, the same practice can be followed with horses where liberal doses of “Happy Tummy”™ charcoal added to their feed stuff will clean up their systems admirably in a short space of time.

Further information on this detox approach is available from Fine Fettle Feed who can be contacted on 01600 712496 or their website


Author: News Editor

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