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When ACP may be of use

  • Clipping and trimming
  • Pulling manes and tails
  • Shoeing
  • Minor dental procedures
  • Loading and travelling
  • Enforced box rest
  • Turnout or exercise following box rest
  • The covering of uncooperative mares
  • Handling wild or fractious horses

Veterinary uses of ACP

  • Prior to a general anaesthetic (shown to reduce anaesthetic deaths)
  • Laminitis
  • To drop the penis for swabbing or clinical assessment
  • Choke
  • Tetanus

Undesirable side effects of ACP

  • Drop in blood pressure (hypotension) but may help laminitis cases
  • Inhibition of temperature regulation
  • Changes in the blood cell count
  • Disturbances in fertility
  • Paralysis of the retractor penis muscle (leading to possible penile prolapse and associated problems)
  • Accidental injection into the artery instead of the vein, leading to possible disorientation, convulsions and death

For more information about the benefits and suitable uses of ACP, see Horse & Hound (28 February, ’08)