Equidronate is a treatment we use for some orthopaedic conditions such as hock arthritis and navicular syndrome. It has been used successfully in Europe for several years and is now available in the UK. It is composed of Tiludronic acid, a bisphosphonate which inhibits bone resorption in horses.
How does Equidronate work?
In conditions that benefit from treatment with Equidronate the bone producing cells (osteoblasts) can’t keep up with the bone removing cells (osteoclasts). Equidronate actually helps to stop the osteoclasts from continuing to disrupt the bone. This prevents further damage and also allows the osteoblasts to catch up and repair the problem. It also has some anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the secretion of destructive enzymes that break down cartilage.
Equidronate may be recommended for your horse following a lameness work up. We would always do a full lameness work up first so that the cause of lameness is identified. We will then obtain radiographs and Equidronate will be recommended if we feel it is suitable.
Equidronate is administered by giving a one litre fluid solution via a drip directly into the horse’s vein. It needs to be given over 45-60 minutes so your horse will need to be brought in to the hospital at Markeaton. An occasional side effect of Equidronate administration is showing signs of spasmodic colic. For this reason horses will be monitored throughout the time it is administered. We will also keep your horse in for a couple of hours following administration to monitor for any side effects.