In the Shadow of Horse

In the Shadow of Horse
In the Shadow of Horse

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit


Dr McIlwraith gave a fine presentation on intra-articular steroids. He failed to mention the effect of corticosteroids on the circulatory system and coagulation, and subsequently their contribution to contributing to increased incidences of EIPH. Side effects of fluid retention, catabolic breakdown of membranes and tissues, and alteration of the clotting processes are side effects that need to be explored and studied. Both corticosteroids and NSAID alter normal coagulation and contribute to an increased incidence of EIPH. Their extensive use is one of the many significant reasons American racehorses are prone to experience EIPH. Many medications, especially those utilized regularly in training, create the tendency to bleed. For this reason, many contemporary trainers feel they cannot race without Lasix. Lasix has become a cover for the overzealous use of performance medications, as most performance medications aggravate the clotting and pulmonary circulation process. Aggressive use of corticosteroids, bloodbuilders, and NSAIDs contribute to EIPH. This combined with inappropriate stabling and the failure to enrich the stabled racehorse's wellbeing with abundant forage, friends, and locomotion has created the illusion that drugs are needed to race horses.
Thank Dr Bramalage for the fine conditioning presentation. It seems Dr Bramalage did not mention the critical need to exercise horses throughout the day to sustain and maintain musculoskeletal and pulmonary health. Abundant locomotion beyond the training regimen is what American racehorses lack but need to promote soundness of wind and limb. Horses locked down in stalls all but an hour or two a day are not receiving adequate movement required to enhance the soundness of lungs and legs. Racehorses require movement throughout the day to adequately develop and sustain soundness of wind and limb. 


Dr Gustafson is an equine veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist, and novelist.  Natural approaches to development, training, nutrition, and conditioning sustain equine health and enhance performance. Behavioral and nutritional enrichment strategies enhance the lives of stabled horses. Training and husbandry from the horse's perspective result in content, cooperative horses. DrSid provides equine behavior consultations to help recreate the needs and preferences of horses in training and competition.
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