I came across a Veterinary Assistant who was concerned about how often people give out medical advice over social media and I thought it was worth sharing. Here is what they had to say (paraphrased slightly):
For those of you who advise giving medications over Facebook and other social media, please remember: While any knowledgeable horse owner usually has some medications on-hand for emergencies, I want everyone to think twice before telling other people to medicate their horse online. If someone is asking for advice online, assume they don’t know what they’re doing!
I just had a 14 year old girl give her horse an entire tub of bute… All at once… Because her horse was lame (had an abscess) and instead of calling the vet out people had advised her on a Facebook group to ”give the horse some bute”. By doing this she sent her horse into acute renal failure. We saved it – but £10,000 later this horse will have complications for life.
If you’re not a vet you don’t have the necessary information or qualifications to prescribe drugs. Don’t go around telling people to administer drugs to their horses.
Without intending to, even the best and most well-intentioned advice can be really harmful if you don’t have all the details. So, please, if you want to help someone whose horse is suffering from a medical condition, advise them to go to their vet. Their vet is the best, most qualified person to give them the help they need and prescribe or administer appropriate medication. It might cost them a little more than some free advice but it could also save them a lot of heartache!