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.
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. For nearly 30 years, thoroughbred trainers and owners have used furosemide to treat the disorder.
The research appears in the current issue of the
the American Veterinary Medical Association.
co-authored the paper with Diane Gross, a graduate
teaching assistant in the department of veterinary
medicine at Ohio State; Tom Wittum, an assistant
of epidemiology at Ohi
Contact: Kenneth Hinchcliff
Ohio State University