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There's a Natural Alternative to Bute.

Comparing Devil's Claw and MSM to Bute for Pain Relief in Horses

When it comes to pain relief for horses, there are several options available. Did you know there is a natural alternative as powerful as bute? Wouldn't that be a handy tool to have on-hand to resolve explainable pain for your horse? Understanding the benefits and potential risks of these options is crucial for providing the best care for your equine companion.

Devil's Claw

Devil's Claw (harpagophytum procumbens) is a natural herbal supplement known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to relieve pain in horses and humans. Studies have shown that Devil's Claw can help reduce joint inflammation and improve mobility. Unlike Bute, Devil's Claw has fewer potential side effects and is often preferred by horse owners looking for a more natural approach to pain relief - particularly for long-term use.


MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is another popular supplement used for pain relief in horses. It is a natural source of sulfur, which is essential for the formation of connective tissues, such as joints and cartilage. MSM has been shown to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with arthritis and other joint conditions. Similar to Devil's Claw, MSM is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by horses.

There is a natural way to offer Relief from arthritis for your old friend


Bute, also known as Phenylbutazone, is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used for pain relief in horses. It is highly effective in reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. However, long-term use of Bute can have potential side effects on the gastrointestinal tract (ulcers) and may require careful monitoring by a veterinarian. It's not recommended for long-term use and also not available off-the-shelf. Bute must be prescribed, requiring an expensive vet visit to access this drug.

Here at Sound Advice we have been offering Devil's Claw and MSM in a supplement we call Relief Mix for around 15 years with great long-term results for horses with chronic pain from arthritis or laminitis. We also use this for our own horses short-term for explainable pain, for example after a particularly difficult or long ride. Of course, if your horse has pain you can't explain, we would encourage you to seek veterinary advice.

Relief Mix is a handy supplement to have ahead of time where you would otherwise use Bute. For just $65 you can have a whole kilo - 33 doses of pain relief ready when you need it. Buy it here.

We also have a sister supplement Relief + with glucosamine, specifically for joint pain, available in 1kg and 3kgs.

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