Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory drugs with widespread use in equine veterinary orthopaedics. Short, medium and long acting preparations are available. Side-effects in horses include laminitis and infection, so careful case selection is required before they are used. At our clinic, we recommend performing blood testing for ‘Equine Cushing’s Syndrome’ (PPID) in certain cases as the presence of this condition increases the risks associated with corticosteroid use.
Because of their potent anti-inflammatory effects, corticosteroids are by far the most effective tool in treating inflamed joints or other painful orthopaedic conditions. Under FEI rules, corticosteroids are a prohibited substance so careful adherence to withdrawal times is essential.