Friday, September 14, 2012

Surpass: Diagnostic tool?

Back when Harvey had his swollen sheath, my vet gave me a tube of Surpass to bring the swelling down quickly. This was my first experience with Surpass, but it proved to be quite effective!

Reading more about it, I learned that is is kind of like bute except it targets a specific area and spares the tummy in the process. Only about 3% ends up migrating through the horse's system. And for those of you who live outside the U.S., it is available over the counter for much, much less money.

Atlanta Equine makes these observations about Surpass:

"In our experience, Surpass generally works better under the following circumstances:

  • In higher-motion joints.  For example, we would expect a better response when treating a fetlock joint (which is very high-motion in nature) than we would when treating the lower hock joints (which are very low-motion in nature).
  • In joints that are closer to the skin surface.  If there is less tissue through which the product is required to diffuse then more will be delivered to the affected area. Consequently, we would anticipate a better clinical response if more product is reaching the joint. For example, we would expect a better response when treating a fetlock joint (which is just under the skin surface) than we would a stifle joint (which is much further/ deeper from the skin surface).
  • In joints with a high topical surface area:size ratio.  We typically observe a higher concentration of therapeutic medication in synovial (joint) tissue (and therefore a better clinical response) when the joint is smaller and very well exposed under the skin surface. For example, we would expect a better response when treating a fetlock joint (small and just under the skin surface) than we would a stifle joint (large and deep under the skin surface).
  • When used prophylactically (as a preventative) rather than subsequent to the onset of joint inflammation.  In other words, we would expect a better response if we applied the product prior to exercising the horse than we would if we applied the product after we finished riding."
Pretty interesting!


  1. I had a mare slip in the mud and injure her hock. It blew up like a football, and nothing I did or gave her made any difference. Vet suggested Surpass, I followed the directions and the result was amazing. It looks normal now. She's always going to be "off" a bit, but it sure looks better. Amazing stuff.

  2. Thanks for the info. Have not used Surpass yet, but I will certainly keep it on the list of alternatives. My vet's usually really good about recommending the best treatment for an ailment, so I'm sure this will be on the list if ever we need it.

  3. Haven't heard of the product before, but indeed, an interesting read!

  4. They used this on my pony mare's shoulders when her saddle wasn't fitting right. She was reactive in all the muscles and yet we had to be careful using Bute or any other pain killer because of her tendency to ulcers. I could not believe how well this stuff worked ... considering it has to go through all the hair and thick skin. No wonder one has to wear gloves when applying it! Must be strong stuff!

    They also used Previcox for her pain, which is also used in dogs. It is easier on the stomach. The combo of the Previcox, Surpass and a good chiro adjustment fixed my little girl right up. :)

  5. Hi, I know this is an older post but I recently found your blog and wanted to share some info. Surpass is the same thing (exactly) as Voltaren which is the people version. It is available over the counter in Canada (although if you want to buy Alieve there you need a perscription) If you order form a drugstore in Canada you can get it shipped to you for MUCH cheaper then either the US people or horse version. I use it on my horse and on myself.


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