Objective—To compare efficacy and safety of paste formulations of firocoxib and phenylbutazone in horses with naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.
Animals—253 client-owned horses with naturally occurring osteoarthritis.
Procedures—Horses were treated with firocoxib (0.1 mg/kg [0.045 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) or phenylbutazone (4.4 mg/kg [2 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) for 14 days. Physical examinations and lameness evaluations were performed prior to treatment and after 7 and 14 days. Clinical improvement was defined as a reduction of at least 1 lameness grade or a combined reduction of at least 3 points in scores for pain during manipulation or palpation, joint swelling, joint circumference, and range of motion.
Results—Proportion of horses clinically improved on day 14 for the firocoxib group (104/123 [84.6%]) was not significantly different from the proportion for the phenylbutazone group (103/119 [86.6%]). Proportion of horses that were improved on day 14 was significantly greater for horses treated with firocoxib than for horses treated with phenylbutazone with regard to score for pain on manipulation or palpation (P = 0.028), joint circumference score (P = 0.026), and range of motion score (P = 0.012), but not for overall lameness score or joint swelling score. No direct treatment-related adverse effects were detected during the study.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that overall clinical efficacy of a paste formulation of firocoxib in horses with naturally occurring osteoarthritis was comparable to efficacy of a paste formulation of phenylbutazone.