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Risks of giving intramuscular banamine to horses

Quick facts

  • If possible, give banamine by mouth or have your veterinarian give it in the vein.

  • Injections in the muscle can cause serious infection.

  • Watch for signs of gas and swelling under the skin and for signs of depression and colic.

  • Treatment includes antibiotics and surgery.

  • Call your veterinarian right away if you suspect signs of infection.

What is Banamine?

Banamine is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent that relieves pain, swelling and fever in horses.

Banamine comes in two forms: injectable and oral. Veterinarians routinely use the injectable form in the vein (IV). Horse owners may have oral and injectable banamine on hand to relieve pain. Owners must know the risks of giving banamine or other medications in the muscle (IM).

Muscle damage and infection

Many drugs can cause muscle damage when injected:

  • Banamine

  • Ivermectin

  • Progesterone

  • Anti-histamines

  • Phenylbutazone

  • Dipyrone

  • Vitamin B complex

  • Synthetic prostaglandins

This usually causes few problems. But, spores of bacteria (Clostridium) can rest in healthy muscle and start to grow if the muscle gets damaged. This growth can cause Clostridial myositis, a serious and sometimes fatal infection.


Raffa Teixera former student, College of Veterinary Medicine and Stephanie Valberg professor, director of the Equine Center

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