Bisphosphonates (Equidronate / Osphos)

In normal horses, bone remodeling is constantly occurring in response to the normal stresses and strains of exercise. In certain conditions (e.g. navicular syndrome, osteoarthritis), this bone breakdown is accelerated and contributes to the pain and lameness. Bisphosphonates target cells causing bone breakdown and reduces their action. Their use is widespread in the equine orthopaedics, especially for cases of navicular syndrome and bone spavin.

An intravenous and an intramuscular form are available. The intravenous form is usually performed at the clinic, especially for the initial treatment, and is administered in saline as a slow infusion. Side effects can occur and include a transient, mild colic, so horses are carefully monitored following treatment.