Sunday, March 17, 2019

Why Are Young Racehorses Breaking Down At Tracks All Over The Country?

That is the multi-million dollar question. Why? Is it the track surface that has resulted in 22 horses being euthanized at Santa Anita, CA? Is it the use of a whip or medications such as Lasix? Was the summer of 2017 in Saratoga that much different in equine death toll numbers? How many is enough to say halt the racing season?

So many questions and it appears very few answers. I was doing some research for an article I was writing for one of my clients several months ago, and found some very concerning issues for horse health concerning the use of a certain drug called Osphos, a bisphosphonate

To say I found the comments from the scientific community on the risks and reports of long term damage from its use mind-blowing, would be an understatement.

A few months later a top surgeon came out in a report published in the Paulick report with this comment,

“I wish we'd never seen these drugs,” said renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage at the conclusion of a recent presentation about bisphosphonates. 

It is not a huge leap of faith to see that lasix, whips and poor riding surfaces are not likely the root cause of the recent rise in racehorse injuries. At let's keep it real, the new medications such as Osphos are not just used on racehorses. They are used across all riding disciplines. Yes, the FDA has approved their use. But is that enough? 

As a horse owner you most likely rely on the advice of your vet for treatment of injuries and lameness in your horse. And your vet, just like your doctor, is consistently courted by big pharma to purchase and promote their offerings.

In my humble opinion you should be an advocate for your horse by completing your own research as thoroughly as possible before following the sole advice of anyone as to treatment and long term effects of medications. It is not just about what is show legal or FDA approved, it is about the well-being of your horse long term not just when its under saddle competing for your financial and emotional edification. 

Check your own conscience. Are you doing enough due diligence?

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