Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows how respiratory disorder slows some racehorses

15.09.2005


A respiratory disorder that causes thoroughbred racehorses to hemorrhage during competition may seriously hamper some horses’ chances of winning a race.



A new study in Australia found that horses with more severe forms of this disorder, called exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) trailed the winner by an average of 14 feet (4.36 meters). EIPH causes blood to leak from the pulmonary artery into the bronchial tubes and windpipe during intense exercise, making it harder for an animal to breathe.

The physical stress of racing triggers EIPH in about half of all thoroughbreds, said Kenneth Hinchcliff, the study’s lead author and a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University.


“The disorder is clearly an important cause of poor performance in race horses,” he said. “The thoroughbred racing community long suspected that EIPH hindered race performance, yet there wasn’t any scientific evidence to link the two.

“This is the first study to demonstrate that connection.”

The disorder affects about half of all racehorses in North America, but horses here are often given a diuretic, called furosemide (brand name Salix), in an attempt to prevent EIPH. Furosemide is banned by racing commissions in many other countries.

EIPH is graded on a scale of zero to four, with four being the most severe form. In this study, 55 percent of the 744 horses examined after a race had developed EIPH to some degree. The horses with an EIPH grade of one or lower were just as likely to win a race or come in second or third as were horses without a trace of blood in their airways. But the odds of winning or placing second or third were markedly worse for horses with an EIPH of grade two or higher.

The findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Hinchcliff conducted the study while on sabbatical in Australia , where the thoroughbred racing industry prohibits trainers from giving their competitive animals furosemide. More than 90 percent of North American racehorses are given the drug before competing. About six years ago, Hinchcliff and Paul Morley, of Colorado State University and a co-investigator on the current research, found that the drug seemed to improve performance on North American racetracks.

“Many racehorses in the U.S. get furosemide before a race, but we don’t actually know if it works that well for preventing EIPH,” Hinchcliff said.

In the current study, the researchers collected data on 744 thoroughbreds that ran in races at one of four courses in Melbourne . The horses competed in 202 races at 26 meets. Animals were enrolled in the study one to two days before a race. After each race, Hinchcliff and his colleagues examined each horse by inserting an endoscope into one of animal’s nostrils and then through its throat and into the windpipe.

An EIPH grade of four means that more than 90 percent of the horse’s windpipe is covered in blood. An EIPH grade of one indicates that a few flecks or tiny streams of blood were spotted in either the windpipe or the bronchial tubes. A grade of zero means that a horse is EIPH-free.

Of the 412 horses in this study that developed EIPH, most (273) had a grade of one or less. These animals performed just as well as those without any trace of blood in their airways. They were four times as likely to win a race and nearly twice (1.8 times) as likely to finish in one of the top three positions as were horses with an EIPH of grade two, three or four.

For racehorse trainers and owners, the presence of EIPH can have financial implications, too. Horses with grade one EIPH were three times more likely to win take-home earnings than were animals with EIPH of grade two or higher.

Of the remaining 139 horses with the disorder, 101 were diagnosed with grade two; 25 had grade three; and 13 horses had grade four EIPH. The more severe the disorder, the further behind the winner a horse was likely to place.

“We could actually quantify the distance based on the severity of the disorder,” Hinchcliff said. “If a horse was a grade three or grade four bleeder, that was one to six meters (about three to 19 feet) in race distance.”

Hinchcliff also pointed out that it doesn’t matter how old a horse is or how long it has raced – any thoroughbred racer could develop some degree of EIPH. He and his colleagues also aren’t sure if the disorder gets progressively worse in a horse that develops a less severe grade.

While most racehorses in North America are given a drug prior to racing in an attempt to prevent hemorrhaging, EIPH is still tough to control. Hinchcliff said that there are a number of treatments that are used, including herbal products, but whether or not these act as truly effective remedies isn’t clear.

Hinchcliff is co-investigator on a current study being conducted in South Africa , where furosemide is also banned, to see if the results are similar to those of the Australian study.

Hinchcliff conducted the current study with researchers from the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne; Racing Victoria, Ltd., in Flemington, Victoria, Australia; and from the college of veterinary medicine at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Funding was provided by Racing Victoria Limited and Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australia .

Kenneth Hinchcliff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>