ORC To End N-Butyl Alcohol Administration

Published: November 3, 2011 10:29 am EDT

The Ontario Racing Commission today announced via a notice to the industry that ORC official veterinarians will no longer be able to administer n-butyl alcohol in standardbred paddocks effective January 1

, 2012.

The contents of the ORC's notice on the issue appear below.

ORC Official vets will no longer administer n-butyl alcoholl in SB paddocks
Licensees advised to seek guidance of ORC licensed Vet on its use

N-butyl alcohol is a pre-race bleeding medication. The patented form of the medication, known as Clotol, contained 7 per cent n-butyl alcohol, and is no longer produced commercially in Canada. Generic versions of the drug are produced by independent compounders and a small pharmaceutical company. The main supplier to the industry has chosen to double the strength of the solution to 14 per cent n-butyl alcohol.

Historically, in thoroughbred and quarter horse racing, private practitioners administered the medication prior to horses going over to the paddock. In standardbred racing, n-butyl alcohol was only administered by the official Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) veterinarian in the paddock on the day of a race.

As the administration of the substance in the SB paddock has been on the decline, the ORC will discontinue the practice of the Official Veterinarian giving n-butyl alcohol injections effective January 1, 2012.

While n-butyl alcohol is a legal medication, the ORC advises horse people to be very cautious with its use. If they choose to use it with their horses, the medication should be administered under the direction of an ORC licensed veterinarian.

According to ORC Veterinarian Supervisor Dr. Bruce Duncan, as a general rule, extra care should be taken when using this product, practicing good intra venous technique. “Anyone administering this to a horse should be very cautious, especially with the 14 per cent form. An ORC licensed veterinarian can advise you if the substance will have a therapeutic value to the horse, and if so, supervise the injection of the medication.”

Those horse people who choose to continue the administration of the medication should do so with utmost care. There is a growing suspicion that some intra venous applications of the substance, particularly the double strength form, can cause damage to the jugular vein, including complete occlusion (or blocking) of the vein. This can put the health of the horse at risk.

The racing community is reminded that a basic aspect of good medication control is ensuring that you only use products that are properly manufactured and clearly labeled, and that are administered by a licensed veterinarian or under the direction of one.



Not sure that having trainers administer a drug is a good idea. I believe it would create suspicion by the observing trainers and owners.
Also how would this be done? Ie the trainer would be in possession of an injectable, a needle and syringe? Who would verify what is in the bottle?
If the ORC vet dispenses and supervises, he would be directly responsible requiring a thorough physical examination and thorough medical records on any horse (thanks to the College of veterinarians who is there to protect the public). Why not then just discontinue it altogether?

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