EIPH Research a Fundraising Priority for AAEP Foundation

EIPH Research a Fundraising Priority for AAEP Foundation

Up to 68% of Thoroughbred racehorses have evidence of blood in their trachea post-exercise.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation, the charitable arm of the AAEP, has announced its designation of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) research as a fundraising priority.

Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage refers to the presence of blood in a horse’s airways and/or lungs during exercise. The condition is commonly reported in racehorses but can occur in any horse during strenuous exercise. Researchers have found that up to 68% of Thoroughbred racehorses have evidence of blood in their trachea post-exercise, with 36% of these horses experiencing moderate to severe EIPH (Grades 2-4) after any given race. Horses with a Grade 2 score or higher have significantly decreased athletic performance.

“As doctors of veterinary medicine, we see the effects of EIPH every day through our care of the athletic horse,” said Jeff Berk, VMD, chair of the AAEP’s Foundation Advisory Council. “Finding solutions for this pervasive condition will require new research and significant financial resources, and the AAEP Foundation’s goal is to build on the momentum already underway in the research community.”

As part of its strategic focus on EIPH research, the AAEP Foundation will continue its collaboration with the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (GJCRF). In 2015, GJCRF launched the funding of two projects aimed at in-depth investigation of EIPH pathophysiology of and the effect of the medication furosemide on the condition. The AAEP Foundation, along with other racing industry groups, helped fund these projects.

Future EIPH grant applications submitted to the GJCRF will go through the normal rigorous scientific review process, and grants determined to have exceptional scientific merit by the GJCRF Research Advisory Committee will be eligible for funding by the AAEP Foundation, GJCRF, or jointly.

The deadline to submit grant applications to the GJCRF for funding in 2017 is Oct. 3. Instructions on the submission process are available online

The AAEP’s commitment to finding new, efficacious management strategies for EIPH is one prong of the its Prescription for Racing Reform, a 10-point plan designed to both protect the health of racing’s equine athletes and strengthen the integrity of the sport.

The AAEP Foundation hosted a research panel in November 2015 to investigate alternative EIPH management strategies which would not require race-day medication administration. The panel—which included experts in the fields of equine EIPH, pulmonary and cardiac physiology, lung pathology, and human sports medicine—focused on a review of current scientific knowledge and identification of future research. The EIPH panel report is available for download

Donations to the AAEP Foundation in support of EIPH research can be made online or by calling 859/233-0147.

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