Dechra has launched a 9g sachet version of its prednisolone treatment, Equisolon, for horses with severe equine asthma.

The oral corticosteroid powder formulation was previously only available in 180g tubs.

Severe equine asthma, which was previously known as Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Heaves, can lead to airway neutrophil influx and excessive mucus production. Although it is generally managed by environmental measures to suppose triggering factors, it can be combined with corticosteroid therapy to control airway inflammation in more severe cases.

Alana McGlade BVMedSci BVM BVS MRCVS, Equine Business Manager, said: "Severe equine asthma is the most common cause of chronic coughing in mature horses. Attributed to a hypersensitivity to inhaled allergens and dust, clinical signs - such as inflammation of the airways - can be alleviated by Equisolon’s active ingredient prednisolone.

"Prednisolone has been shown to have positive effects on clinical signs, endoscopic evaluation, arterial blood gases and pulmonary function when used in conjunction with environmental changes to reduce a horse’s exposure to potential triggers.

"Previously, vets would have had to measure out the powder but the sachets make dosing more convenient. The sachets come in a box of 10, so each pack will treat one 300 kg horse for 10 days or one 600 kg horse for 5 days. As the sachets are pre-measured, horses get exactly the dose they need.” 

Equisolon oral powder contains 33.3 mg/g of prednisolone and should be administered at 1 mg prednisolone per kg of body weight per day. Treatment can be repeated at 24 hour intervals during 10 consecutive days.

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