Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common Drug Associated With Improved Performance In Race Horses

Date:
September 14, 1999
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
A drug legally given before a race to horses for a certain medical condition is suspected of having a positive effect on their performance.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A drug legally given before a race to horses for a certain medical condition is suspected of having a positive effect on their performance.

The drug, called furosemide, is often given to racehorses with a history of bleeding in the respiratory tract -- or exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging (EIPH).

In the 1980s, controversy arose surrounding the use of furosemide as a preventive measure for EIPH. Researchers aren't sure if furosemide has an effect on EIPH, but for nearly 30 years, thoroughbred trainers and owners have used furosemide to treat the disorder.

"We've found excellent evidence that associates furosemide with better performance," said Kenneth Hinchcliff, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at Ohio State.

Hinchcliff and his colleagues stopped short, however, of saying that the drug definitively improves performance. Also, the researchers aren't sure if furosemide has an effect on EIPH.

The research appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Hinchcliff co- authored the paper with Diane Gross, a graduate teaching assistant in the department of veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State; Tom Wittum, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Ohio State; and Paul Morley, an assistant professor of epidemiology and biosecurity at Colorado State University.

After analyzing the race records of 22,589 thoroughbreds, the researchers found that 74 percent (16,761) of the horses were given furosemide prior to a race. These horses raced faster, were 1.4 times more likely to win a race, 1.2 times more likely to finish in the top three and earned an average of $416.00 more than the horses not receiving the drug.

While 85 percent of the horses in the study had received furosemide at some point in their lives, about 74 percent of thoroughbreds are likely to be running on the drug during a race, Gross said.

Furosemide -- sold under the trade name Lasix -- is "frequently used by humans for its diuretic effects," Morley said. Such drugs flush water from a person, thereby reducing body weight.

This diuretic effect may cause enhanced racing performance -- other studies found that horses on furosemide lost about 20 pounds of their pre-race body weight through urination. And if weight can affect performance, a horse that's lost 20 pounds would theoretically have a racing advantage. Race horses typically weigh about 1,000 pounds.

Furosemide is one of the only drugs allowed in all racing jurisdictions in the United States and Canada.

"The drug was essentially 'grandfathered' in North America," Hinchcliff said. "In most other racing jurisdictions in the world, the drug is not allowed."

The researchers don't know why furosemide seems to have a positive impact on a horse's speed and performance.

"Until now, the positive effect of furosemide on performance was generally assumed -- it hadn't been clearly demonstrated," Hinchcliff said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Common Drug Associated With Improved Performance In Race Horses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990914081452.htm>.
Ohio State University. (1999, September 14). Common Drug Associated With Improved Performance In Race Horses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990914081452.htm
Ohio State University. "Common Drug Associated With Improved Performance In Race Horses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990914081452.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins