As temperatures rise this season, be mindful of the recommended storage conditions for your horse’s medications. Heat or temperature fluctuations can cause drugs to break down, becoming ineffective or even dangerous.
Read packaging labels or medication inserts to learn the optimal storage temperature range for each preparation. Then, consider the conditions in your barn, feed room and tack room. You may need to move medications to your house for the season. Also be mindful that even temporary conditions can have a deleterious effect: A vial of medication may be compromised if left in your truck for even a single summer afternoon, when temperatures undergo a swing of 20 degrees or more.
If you’re unsure of how a medication has been stored, inspect it carefully. Any change in color, clarity, smell or texture can be an indication of improper storage. Set aside any product you have a question about and consult with your veterinarian before using it.
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #465, June 2016.