Chicago Barn to Wire

IRB NOTES

Illinois Racing Board

Lasix (Furosemide) Rule Amended

Amendments to the Illinois Racing Board rule 603.70 (Furosemide) became effective December 1, 2001.

Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) is a wide spread and important cause of exercise intolerance in performance horses. With the advent of modern diagnostic techniques, the incidence of EIPH is almost universal. Eighty-two to ninety-five percent of performance horses show signs of EIPH with repeated endoscopic exams. EIPH has an enormous impact on the racing industry due to decreased performance, lost training and racing days, necessity for pre-race medication and the death of horses involved.

Furosemide is a potent diuretic medication approved for use in horses that is helpful in the management of EIPH. Furosemide attenuates exercise-induced increases in cardio-pulmonary blood pressures. It mediates these changes in large part by reducing the amount of plasma and blood volume through its diuretic effects. Furosemide is a proven safe and effective medication for horses.

The Illinois Racing Board has sanctioned the use of Furosemide, as a race day medication, for the past 20 years. Furosemide is strictly monitored by both pre and post-race procedures. Periodically, the Furosemide rules are updated to reflect current standards of practice and knowledge.

The adopted rule changes concern only how horses are certified to race on Furosemide in Illinois. The rule is being updated to better deal with current knowledge and procedure. The old rule required that a horse have an episode of EIPH and witnessed by an official veterinarian in order to race on Furosemide. The new rule permits a trainer to put a horse on the Furosemide list as a precautionary measure without a "bleed" being witnessed. In addition, a horse racing out-of-state would be permitted to be put on the Furosemide list if it had been racing on Furosemide consistently in other racing jurisdictions, even if there was no witnessed "bleed" date. Currently, many out-of-state horses are denied the use of Furosemide in Illiniois if they cannot produce a date of a witnessed EIPH episode. In most cases this is unfair and even dangerous to the horse who must then bleed again to be certified in Illinois. This is unfair to the horse as well as the betting public.

The amended rule recognizes the fact that the trainer of the horse may be the one most familiar with the horse's health and the use of Furosemide, as a precautionary measure prior to an actual episode of EIPH, conforms to the standards of modern procedure and scientific knowledge.

Please contact Mickey Ezzo at 312-814-5017 if you would like to obtain a copy of the Furosemide rule.

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