According to the Merck Veterinary Manual: “Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) occurs in the majority of racehorses and is observed in many other equine sports (e.g., polo, barrel racing, 3-day events) that require strenuous exercise for short periods of time. Epistaxis is observed in a small proportion (~5%) of horses with EIPH. Blood in the tracheobronchial tree is identified in 44-75% of racehorses via endoscopic examination, and hemorrhage is detected by cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage in 93% of racehorses.”

The use of furosemide (Lasix or Salix) on racehorses in the United States to curb EIPH is an issue that evokes passionately-held opinions from informed people in favor of the practice and against.

Following are links to well-reasoned discussions concerning Lasix by highly respected and longtime participants in the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry, three discussions in favor of the use of Lasix on race-day and three opposed. An effort has been made to provide a representative sampling of expert views.

In favor of race-day administration of furosemide:

Human cardiologist Dr. Mark Dedomenico, racehorse owner and proprietor of The Pegasus Training and Rehabilitation Center for equines in Redmond, WA. [click here]

Article by veterinarians Dr. Thomas Tobin and Dr. Kimberly Brewer from the Winter 2011 Horsemen’s Journal. [click here]

Essay by trainer Dale Romans on . [click here]

Opposed to race-day administration of furosemide:

Claiborne farm owner Seth Hancock. [click here]

Hall of Fame trainer LeRoy Jolley [click here]

CEO of Team Valor International partnerships Barry Irwin. [click here]


Horse Racing Business has a position on the race-day medication issue, but will not articulate it in this particular post in order to maintain editorial balance.

Copyright © 2012 Horse Racing Business