National horsemen’s panel supports use of race day furosemide

by | 01.15.2012 | 7:43am

Panelists at the Jan. 14 National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) convention said there is no scientific evidence supporting a ban on the use of race-day furosemide, commonly known as Salix or Lasix, to control exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging, according to

The National HBPA is a staunch supporter of the use of furosemide and has come out in support of a model rule calling for administration of the drug by regulatory veterinarians only on race day.

Among the panelists was Dr. Steven Barker of the Louisiana State Racing Commission, who sought to dispel industry myths surrounding furosemide.

“The science has to be taken with a grain of salt in some cases,” Barker said. “Some facts have been left by the wayside. Some say Lasix is denigrating the breed. What's the science on that? Nothing. This myth is complete fiction, having not merit or scientific data to support it.”

Dr. Thomas Brokken, speaking from the perspective of a racetrack veterinarian, challenged claims that vets make a lot of money giving Salix shots.

“Will (a race-day ban) hurt us? No,” Brokken said. “Will it change the way we treat horses? Absolutely.”

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