Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Link Between Drugs and Racehorse Injuries is a Work In Progress

Higher levels of two different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were identified in Thoroughbred racehorses suffering musculoskeletal injuries in Kentucky Racing Commission races compared to non-injured horses. But whether these elevated levels contribute to musculoskeletal injuries or not remains to be determined, reported a group of veterin...

Equine 'Breathalyzer' Helps Diagnose Lower Airway Inflammation

Based on diagnostic tests currently used in human medicine, researchers from the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom have reported preliminary findings on the use of an easy and non-invasive analysis of "exhaled breath condensate" that could lead to improved diagnosis and monitoring of lower airway disease in horses.

Lower airway inflammat...

Widespread Drug Contamination Found at Racetracks

Since racetrack environments contain residues of multiple drugs that can be detected by standard testing procedures, environmental drug contamination as an explanation for positive drug tests in racehorses needs to be considered like it currently is in human athletes, said researcher Steven A. Barker, BS, MS, PhD, Everett D. Besch Distinguished Profess...

Researchers Examine Oral Acetate for Equine Exercise Recovery

An inaugural study has found that a sodium acetate electrolyte solution given orally with a typical hay and grain meal following exercise enhanced skeletal muscle metabolism to restore depleted glycogen (energy) sources.

"Glycogen stored in muscle is the primary energy source for horses undergoing either short-term, high intensity or p...

Keeping Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis 'Foreign'

Most horse owners are familiar with Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis, if only through the statement they receive from their veterinarian following their horses' annual vaccinations. But there's another "EE" that, while long absent from the United States, should not be forgotten: Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, or VEE.

...

Anhidrosis: Altered Thyroid Function a Potential Contributor

Despite the fact that 20% of racehorses in the southern United States are affected by anhidrosis--the inability or decreased ability to sweat--the underlying causes of this medical condition remain unknown.

Sweating is the primary means by which exercising horses dissipate heat. Anhidrotic horses are typically exercise intolerant, have an inc...

Speed Researcher Says Horses Have Reached their Limit

It doesn't look like Thoroughbred racehorses will be breaking records anytime soon ... or perhaps ever again.

According to Mark Denny, PhD, of California's Stanford University, a plateau in racing speed was reached back in 1949, 1971, and 1973 for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, respectively.

...

Foal Weight Partially Dependent on Parity in New Study

Australian researchers based at Coolmore Stud in New South Wales, Australia, reported in a new study that placental weight and parity (number of foals a mare has had) are positively associated with foal weight. In contrast, neither gestation length nor age of mare were implicated in affecting birth weight.

"It is widely perceived by th...

Canadian Researchers Focus on Racehorse Safety

Since the loss of Barbaro and Eight Belles, NBC's Roundtable on the horseracing industry at the 2008 Preakness Stakes, and the congressional hearing in June 2008, researchers are highlighting their efforts to improve racehorse safety and Canadian scientists are not to be left out.

"The Ontario Veterinary College's Comparative Orthopaedic Research Lab...

Understanding and Preventing Catastrophic Injuries

Following the euthanasia of filly Eight Belles, who suffered catastrophic injuries to both front legs a quarter mile after finishing second in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, members of every sector of the Thoroughbred industry have banded together to proactively address safety and welfare issues. In this article, representative members of the equine industry to...

Heart Murmurs: No Impact on Racing Performance in New Study

According to a group of researchers from the United Kingdom, heart murmurs are common in athletic horses, but do not negatively impact racing performance.

"A high prevalence of heart murmurs is known to exist in horses," explained Lesley Young, BVSc, PhD, DVA, Dipl. ECEIM (European College of Equine Internal Medicine), DVC, MRCVS, an equine cardio...

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