DMSO and Horses: Historical Legacy and Benefits

When considering the evolution of equine health treatments, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) stands tall as a significant game-changer. This compound's journey from being an industrial solvent to a prominent tool in horse care offers a compelling story of scientific discovery, clinical applications, and regulatory recognitions. In this dive, we'll discuss DMSO’s historical ties to racehorses, its manifold benefits, and its official acknowledgment by the FDA for equine use.

DMSO: Historical Beginnings with Racehorses

The 1960s marked the emergence of DMSO in the equine world. Primarily a byproduct from the wood industry, its reputation underwent a transformation when researchers discovered its medicinal traits. Particularly, its ability to rapidly permeate skin intrigued equine professionals.

Given that racehorses endure rigorous training, leading to muscle strains, inflammations, and occasional injuries, the potential benefits of DMSO made it a compelling solution. Trainers and horse caregivers, constantly searching for revolutionary treatments, soon adopted DMSO as an essential part of their equine health toolkit.

Benefits of DMSO for Horses: A Closer Look

  1. Master of Anti-Inflammation: DMSO’s reputation largely centers around its anti-inflammatory properties. For horses suffering from inflammation-related discomfort, DMSO provides rapid relief, minimizing swelling and pain.

  2. The Pain Manager: Beyond tackling inflammation, DMSO stands out as an effective analgesic. Horses recovering from sprains, injuries, or post-activity fatigue find solace in its pain-alleviating capacities.

  3. Promoter of Circulation: The therapeutic wonders of DMSO extend to its ability to enhance blood circulation, particularly in injured regions, paving the way for quicker recovery and effective nutrient delivery.

  4. The Efficient Carrier: One unique characteristic of DMSO is its adeptness as a carrier, enabling it to transport therapeutic agents deeper into tissues, thus elevating their efficacy.

  5. Guardian Against Oxidative Stress: DMSO wears the antioxidant hat as well, actively combatting cellular oxidative stress and playing a role in tissue repair and rejuvenation.

  6. Wound Healing Ally: When it comes to wound care, DMSO has demonstrated accelerated healing potential, sometimes even mitigating scar tissue formation.

DMSO's Journey with the FDA

The FDA's (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) overarching mission revolves around safeguarding public health by ensuring the safety and efficacy of drugs. Given DMSO's rapid integration into equine care, it soon landed on the FDA's radar.

While DMSO’s application for humans gained FDA approval, notably for interstitial cystitis, its pathway in the equine context was nuanced. Recognizing its benefits, yet also emphasizing regulated and safe usage, the FDA provided a conditional nod to DMSO's usage for horses. This acknowledgment primarily leans toward its topical use for reducing inflammation and swelling. However, it underscores the importance of strictly adhering to recommended dosages and usage guidelines to sidestep potential side effects.

Optimal Usage & Equine Safety

DMSO's skin-penetrating prowess, while being a boon, also necessitates stringent safety measures. Before application, thorough cleaning of the skin is imperative to negate any risk of external contaminants being introduced into the horse's system. Veterinarian guidance, hence, becomes paramount. Only under expert supervision should DMSO be administered, ensuring the holistic well-being of the horse.

In Retrospect

Charting the course of DMSO in the equine realm provides a fascinating tale of discovery, therapeutic application, and regulatory validation. Its indelible mark on racehorse care especially showcases the continued commitment of the equine community towards harnessing science for optimal health outcomes. As research deepens and the equine world continues to evolve, DMSO's legacy remains firmly etched, promising further discoveries and insights.


FDA Disclaimer: The statements made in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. DMSO is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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