Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) in barrel racing horses. While EIPH has been known to exist for a long time in the equine racing industry, the exact cause is unknown. It is thought that during maximum exercise, high pressures in the lungs and heart may rupture some of the pulmonary bronchioles. In some instances, blood from these ruptures can be endoscopically visualized in the trachea. Horses that have blood in the trachea perform worse than horses that don’t. In Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorses, an association between EIPH and inflammation of the lower airways can occur. Inflammation of the lower airway can cause horses to cough during exercise which also could affect their performance. If both EIPH and lower airway inflammation are present, this could prevent barrel racing horses from performing in their most competitive fashion.
Horses will receive free diagnostic testing for EIPH ($250-$400 value). Owners will receive a free consultation and a detailed report of the results, diagnosis and treatment options.
Horses must be barrel racing horses and either compete in an actual race or run barrels at WSU 30 minutes before being examined.
30 minutes after their last race, each horse will be lightly sedated. A fiberoptic endoscope will be passed via the nostril down into the trachea where we will look for evidence of hemorrhage. We will then pass a tube all the way down into the lungs and sterile saline will be flushed throughout the airways. The fluid will then be collected and the tube removed. Collected fluid will be analyzed for the presence of blood and white blood cells and video of the airways will be assessed to grade the severity of EIPH.
Owners will need to sign an Informed Client Consent Form and fill out a questionnaire for each horse they enter into this study.
Dr. Jen Gold, Clinical Associate Professor, Equine Internal Medicine
Valorie Wiss, Clinical Studies Coordinator