Effects of furosemide on the racing times of Thoroughbreds

Corinne Raphel Sweeney From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Lawrence R. Soma From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Abby D. Maxson From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Joseph E. Thompson From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Susan J. Holcombe From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Pamela A. Spencer From the Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

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Summary

The effects of furosemide on the racing times of 79 horses without exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (eiph) and 52 horses with eiph were investigated. Racing times were adjusted to 1-mile equivalent racing times by 2 speed handicapping methods, and analysis of covariance was used to adjust actual racing times by winning time and distance for each race. All 3 methods of determining racing time indicated that geldings without eiph had significantly faster racing times (P < 0.05) when given furosemide before racing than when furosemide was not given before racing. Females and colts without eiph were determined to have faster racing times when furosemide was given before racing, but the difference was not significant. Geldings with eiph had significantly faster racing times (P = 0.0231) when given furosemide before racing, as determined by one of the speed handicapping methods. There was a strong correlation (range 0.9314 to 0.9751) between the 1-mile equivalent racing times, as determined by the 2 speed handicapping methods for horses with and without eiph. Furosemide failed to prevent the development of eiph in many horses that were previously considered to be eiph-negative. When given furosemide, 62 (25.3%) of 235 eiph-negative horses were eiph-positive after racing. Furosemide had questionable efficacy for prevention of eiph in known eiph-positive horses. Thirty-two (61.5%) of 52 eiph-positive horses given furosemide before a race remained eiph-positive after that race.

Summary

The effects of furosemide on the racing times of 79 horses without exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (eiph) and 52 horses with eiph were investigated. Racing times were adjusted to 1-mile equivalent racing times by 2 speed handicapping methods, and analysis of covariance was used to adjust actual racing times by winning time and distance for each race. All 3 methods of determining racing time indicated that geldings without eiph had significantly faster racing times (P < 0.05) when given furosemide before racing than when furosemide was not given before racing. Females and colts without eiph were determined to have faster racing times when furosemide was given before racing, but the difference was not significant. Geldings with eiph had significantly faster racing times (P = 0.0231) when given furosemide before racing, as determined by one of the speed handicapping methods. There was a strong correlation (range 0.9314 to 0.9751) between the 1-mile equivalent racing times, as determined by the 2 speed handicapping methods for horses with and without eiph. Furosemide failed to prevent the development of eiph in many horses that were previously considered to be eiph-negative. When given furosemide, 62 (25.3%) of 235 eiph-negative horses were eiph-positive after racing. Furosemide had questionable efficacy for prevention of eiph in known eiph-positive horses. Thirty-two (61.5%) of 52 eiph-positive horses given furosemide before a race remained eiph-positive after that race.

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