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.

Related Articles


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 November 24, 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 November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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