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Study: Furosemide Reduces EIPH

Published: June 29, 2009 9:59 am ET

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According to the results of a recent study, it has been proven that furosemide decreases the incidence of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in racehorses.

The study, conducted by Colorado State University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Pretoria in the Republic of South Africa, revolved around 167 thoroughbred racehorses.

In the study, each horse raced in two races, one week apart, in the same field and in races of the same distance. In the blinded study, each horse received furosemide before one race and saline solution before the other race. Horses raced under typical racing conditions. Endoscopy was performed within 30-90 minutes after racing to identify the presence of blood in airways. The study will be released in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association on July 1.

The research showed that giving furosemide before a race dramatically decreased the incidence and severity of EIPH. Horses were three to four times more likely to have any evidence of bleeding without furosemide, and were seven to 11 times more likely to have severe bleeding without it.

"The results of this study do not eliminate debate about the use of this medication in racehorses, but it does provide evidence needed to aid making sound policy decisions. Decisions are always easier when you have data," said Dr. Paul Morley, one of the principal investigators of the study and a veterinarian at Colorado State University.

Click here to the read a copy of the release in its entirety.

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