In 2015, The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation sought research on Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) and how to control the condition without race-day medication. Two research projects were selected for funding, and now results are in. Both studies, which were recently published in peer-reviewed journals, were designed to test the effect of furosemide (Lasix) under various circumstances.
One project from the University of California at Davis was overseen by Dr. Heather Knych, who used 15 fit Thoroughbreds with no history of EIPH and administered three treatments: a saline placebo, furosemide four hours before exercise and furosemide 24 hours before exercise with limited water intake.
The horses then took part in exercise sessions and were assessed for bleeding. Based on endoscopic exam and broncho alveolar lavage (BAL), researchers in that study concluded that the 24-hour treatment is not as effective as the four-hour treatment, reports Blood-Horse.
Dr. Warwick Bayly of Washington State University oversaw the second study, which used seven fit Thoroughbreds diagnosed with EIPH and tested seven different treatment protocols. The goal was to determine the efficacy of furosemide at two different doses (5 mL and 10 mL) administered 24 hours before exercise.
The study was conducted in two phases: the first part of the study worked the horses on a treadmill and data was recorded from scopes and lavages. These numbers were compared with the same procedures that had been completed two days before the treadmill test to try to pinpoint the effect of the treatment protocols.
The second phase of the study returned the horses to the track where they trained for four weeks and then ran two simulated races.
At the completion of the study, the researchers at Washington State reported that a low, 5-milliliter dose of furosemide given 24 hours before a race with controlled water access could be a good replacement for the current four-hour dose — in known bleeders.
Read more and find full publication citations at Blood-Horse.
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