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  • Author or Editor: Euan D. Bennet x
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify risk factors associated with race-related sudden death in Thoroughbred racehorses in the US and Canada.

ANIMALS

4,198,073 race starts made by 284,387 Thoroughbred horses at 144 racetracks in the US and Canada between 2009 and 2021.

PROCEDURES

Study data were extracted from the Equine Injury Database, which contains detailed records of 92.2% of all official race starts made in the US and Canada during the study period. Forty-nine potential risk factors were analyzed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Cases were defined as race starts that resulted in fatality within 3 days of racing, in which at least 1 of 5 codes relating to sudden death was recorded. Fatalities due to catastrophic musculoskeletal injury were omitted from the study cohort.

RESULTS

536 race starts resulted in sudden death, an incidence rate of 0.13/1,000 starts. Fifteen risk factors were significantly associated with sudden death, including horse age and sex, season and purse of race, race distance, and horses’ recent history of injury and lay-up. Horses racing while on furosemide medication were at 62% increased odds of sudden death.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Associations found between previous injury and sudden death suggests preexisting pathology could contribute in some cases. The association between furosemide and sudden death prompts further study to understand which biological processes could contribute to this result.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD) and equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD) in Icelandic horses moving from pasture into training.

ANIMALS

81 horses (median age, 3 years; interquartile range, 1 year) from 10 farms representing 4 different Icelandic regions.

PROCEDURES

Initial gastroscopy was undertaken within 2 weeks of moving from pasture into a training establishment. A total of 71 horses underwent endoscopic examination again 8 weeks later. Various management and behavioral factors were assessed through face-to-face questionnaires with the owners or trainers. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors contributing to any change in ESGD and EGGD severity score during the 8-week training period.

RESULTS

Incidence of EGGD and ESGD in this feral population was similar to that found in domesticated horses. ESGD incidence (severity score, ≥ 2; score range, 0 to 4) reduced from an initial 71.6% (58/81) to 25.4% (18/71). On multivariable analysis, sex (ie, being a stallion or a female vs gelding) increased the likelihood of ulcer grade reduction. Being fed preserved forage 3 or more times a day also improved the likelihood of ESGD reduction (odds ratio, 17.95; 95% CI, 1.67 to 193.40; P = .017). Overall, the farm explained 35% of the variance, confirming the importance of management factors. Incidence of EGGD (severity score, ≥ 1; score range, 0 to 2) reduced from 47% (38/81) to 40.8% (29/71) during the same period. No measured variables were associated significantly with EGGD incidence or reduction.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Pasture provision (without supplementary feed or forage) does not result automatically in a low incidence of gastric ulcers. Regular provision of preserved forage is a key factor in reducing ESGD incidence.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association