AAEP Convention 2004: Sports Medicine II--EIPH/Race Times

K.W. Hinchcliff, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, visiting fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia, at the 50th annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention in Denver, Colo., Dec. 4-8, 2004 discussed the effect of EIPH on race times when furosemide was not administered. The study involved examinations of horses competing in competitions where furosemide is not allowed. The study involved Thoroughbreds competing at races in Victoria, Australia, between March 1, 2003, and June 18, 2003.

In the wake of examinations for EIPH, the Australian horses were graded from 0 to 4 as to degree of severity of EIPH. A horse with zero grade meant there were no signs of EIPH, while a grade 4 designation meant the horse was a serious bleeder.

Following is the results of the study as reported by Hinchcliff: 322 horses were grade zero; 273 were grade 1; 101 were grade 2; 25 were grade 3; and 13 were grade 4.

Hinchcliff said the researchers concluded that, "Horses with EIPH, defined as grade 2 or higher, were four times less likely to win, 1.8 times less likely to finish in the top three places, and finished 1.8 meters farther behind the winner than did unaffected horses. Horses with grade 4 finished an average of 3.4 meters farther behind the winner than horses with grade 0."

Hinchcliff said that the results demonstrated that EIPH has a significant negative effect on race performance of Thoroughbreds, and that the more severe the affliction, the more profound is the effect.

About the Author

Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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