Antihistamines and NSAIDs and nutraceuticals, oh my! Have a question about equine drugs or medications at Equestrian Canada (EC) sanctioned competitions? EC’s Equine Medication Control Committee is here to answer your questions on the EC Equine Medication Control program.

Where can I find information on medication elimination (withdrawal) times?

Excellent sources of this information can be found in the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency’s Elimination Guidelines. Additionally, the FEI publishes a list of detection times

When a medication is considered an emergency drug and are all medications given in an emergency prohibited?

The administration of a prohibited medication in cases of an emergency caused by an acute illness or injury is permitted if the following conditions are met:

  1. The medication must be given for an acute (sudden or severe onset) emergency situation.
  2. The medication must be administered by a veterinarian.
  3. The horse receiving the medication must be withdrawn from competition for at least 24 hours.
  4. An EC Emergency Equine Medication Report Form must be properly completed by the competitor or person responsible and the veterinarian who administered the medication. This form must be given to the competition Steward.
  5. Most importantly, continuing to compete the horse (following the 24 hour withdrawal period) must not be detrimental to the welfare of the horse.

A medication may be considered an emergency drug when administered by a veterinarian in the treatment of an acute illness or injury. Medications specifically permitted during EC competitions are listed in the EC General Regulations and posted on the website under Equine Medication, Rules & Guidelines.

Permitted medications are not considered emergency medications. Also, in cases such as colic, which require the emergency administration of flunixin (Banamine), if a horse has already received another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (phenylbutasone or firocoxib), the use of flunixin can be declared an emergency medical treatment, provided the five criteria as listed above are met.

Do you have a question? Send your inquiries about the EC Equine Medication Control program to

Please note, this does not constitute legal advice. Information included in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, advice regarding a particular situation. You should not rely on, nor take or fail to take any action based upon this information. You are encouraged to seek legal advice regarding your circumstances, and you should not rely upon anything you have read in this article without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding the application of EC Equine Medication Control Rules to your particular circumstances.

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