Prascend to the Rescue

Have you ever considered what to do with unused horse medication?

After my horse, Bear, was euthanized last September, I sorted through all his stuff. Some items, of course, I continue to use. Lead ropes, buckets and grooming tools that were all originally purchased with Bear in mind can still be used with my other horses.

But since Bear was cob-sized, I had accumulated a certain number of items that didn’t fit any of the remaining herd.

A few pieces, like Bear’s old halter and bridle, I saved for future inclusion in a possible shadow box. But I sold most of his other fitted equipment. Like a beautiful bright-red heavy blanket I purchased several years ago. I kept it on hand just in case Bear needed extra protection one Winter. But as it turned out, he died before he ever wore it.

I sold the blanket and several other times on eBay. Everything ended up finding a new home except for a few of Bear’s cob-sized fly masks. Guess I’ll be keeping those in my “this might fit some new future horse” section of my tack bin. All horse people have one of those, right? It’s how we keep our equestrian hopes alive.

While I appreciated getting some money from the sales, sorting through my dead horse’s equipment was weirdly emotionally exhausting. I know I got teary-eyed every time I drove to the post office with one of Bear’s sold-on-eBay items.

I had reached my emotional limit, but I knew I still had Bear’s prescribed medications to deal with. I double-checked expiration dates and decided to wait awhile to tackle what to do with them.

So as we entered this new year, I still possessed Bear’s leftover Prascend and Equioxx medications. It was finally time to make some decisions.

There are laws and regulations around prescribed medication both for humans and animals. There are limits to what I could legally do with the pills. No putting them up for sale on eBay, for example.

I enquired about returning the almost $300 worth of unused medication to my vet’s office, but they have a no-refund policy.

Fortunately, I noticed that Bear’s Equioxx medication was not set to expire until 2025. Considering that I still have two senior horses remaining, I figure the odds are good that at least one of them will eventually be prescribed Equioxx. I decided to hang on to that last bottle.

In contrast, Bear’s Prascend medication was set to expire in June 2023, and I still had 84 pills left over. The window of opportunity for its use would close much sooner than with the Equioxx.

When I posed the question to my vet’s office about a possible refund, they suggested donating unused medication to a rescue or therapeutic riding center. Both organizations often have large numbers of senior horses.

Prascend, for those of you not familiar, is a medication that addresses symptoms of equine PPID (Cushing’s Disease). If you do an internet search for PPID, one of the Google responses that often comes up is

“Pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID; equine Cushing’s disease) is an endocrine disorder that occurs in over 20% of aged horses, ponies, and donkeys. Most animals are over 15 years old when diagnosed, but PPID can occur in younger horses. It is, rare in horses less than 10 years old.”

Both rescues and therapeutic riding centers typically have just the right age range of horses to benefit from such a medication donation.

In considering the organizations that I am currently familiar with, I eventually settled on the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

I chose the Kentucky Equine Adoption Center because they have a large number of senior horses in their care who are listed as “companion animals” only. In fact, the day I looked at their website, they had eighteen such horses available for adoption. I figured that there was a good chance several of those horses were likely prescribed Prascend.

I contacted the KyEAC by email just to make sure they actually accepted and had use for the medicine. I sent them a photo of the unused pills in their unopened bubble packets along with the relevant manufacturing and expiration dates.

As it turns out, they were in fact very happy to hear from me. The KyEAC even sent me a nice letter referencing my donation after they received the Prascend (I don’t itemize, but tax laws do change sometimes so I keep these types of receipts just in case).

In the end, I am really glad that the medicine did not go to waste. I like to think that Bear would have approved of how his left-overs were used.

2 thoughts on “Prascend to the Rescue

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