The LASIX Debate



  • Are bleeders bred that way? I mean, some of these mares sold at Keeneland are known bleeders, Iotapa for one. Is it hereditary? I certainly want her retired, but is this something she can pass on?
  • Are bleeders bred that way? I mean, some of these mares sold at Keeneland are known bleeders, Iotapa for one. Is it hereditary? I certainly want her retired, but is this something she can pass on?
    I'm sure there are differing opinions, but the study in this article says it is hereditary.

  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    my husband takes Lasix....he has COPD and CHF....without it he retains fluid and can not I do not find it "detrimental" to his health as he would be dead without it.....he does have to take replacement K+ because with increased urine production K+ level drops in the blood...he does not need Calcium supplements as Lasix does not cause him to have lower Calcium levels...
    just one person but it seems to be how Lasix works for a lot of folks
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    They believe the bleeding could be hereditary. I have an article on my computer that talks about the horse's circulatory system. I'll try to hop online later today from work & post the link
  • I never said Lasix is a bad medicine. It saved my father's life and my mother takes it for congestive heart failure. One of my dogs took it for fluid on his lungs. It's a great medicine unless you have weak bones. I said it takes calcium out of bones and if you have osteoporosis you can't take it or you could end up with fractures. That's not good, especially in the elderly. A lot of medicines save lives but can kill young, healthy people or animals. If you think Lasix is good for bones in animals, you are not getting good info. There's a reason some vets give extra calcium to horses on lasix to try to help the bone density. They know.

    Also, read about why people consider it a performance enhancer. It is and if all these horses that race on Lasix need it for bleeding, there's a problem. If it's not a performance enhancer, why do many give it just for a level playing field.

    My daughter broke her hip at age 28. Very unusual and it was discovered she has early osteoporosis. She would not be able to have Lasix, but thankfully doesn't need it and if she ever does, there are other meds that work as well but don't affect bones.
  • Also, Casey, even though we will probably never agree on the Lasix subject, I just want you to know I care about you and consider you a good "online" friend and, as always, greatly respect your opinion! I don't claim to know I'm 100 percent right on the subject. It's confusing and there are many different opinions and this is mine for now, but I DO respect yours as well.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    I know, Louise. I don't have to agree with everyone, I do just like to explain the veterinary POV since I deal with that daily. I don't disagree with you, on the leaching of minerals, but I guess we have to weigh pros vs cons. And the reality is that horses don't race for very long, and as long as they're being resupplemented, I don't know if the depletion causes long term problems or are they able to rebuild up the reserves? Too many unknowns to make a truly educated opinion. So there's a lot of unanswered questions out there.
  • Thanks Casey and you are right, there are many unanswered questions out there. No matter what, though, I trust your opinion and I know how much you love thoroughbreds and all animals and everything you say comes from a good place. I love them all, too, and only want the best for them.

    Heck, if I quit being friends with everyone who disagrees with me, I wouldn't have that many friends. Lol And you are our resident vet person who none of us could do without and I mean that.
  • Question: I would think vets have been approved in saying OK for lasix. When does it become something generic that is just administed?
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    I can only speak for CA, but only a track licensed vet can administer lasix. They scurry around early in the mornings of race day trying to administer it by the required time.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    As far as I know, the horse has to be listed as a bleeder, but don't quote me on that
  • Aren't all tracks different? Wish we could hear from practicing track vet.
  • Wow, thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge and experiences about lasix. And although I know it isn't pleasant to disagree on something, it really helps someone like me (who knows pretty much nothing about it) to understand and analyze both opinions. And thanks for handling different opinions respectfully and politely, it really makes it nice for everyone!
  • I found this good article by a well known veterinarian and his view on Lasix and milkshaking.
  • Thanks lc. K
  • About Rich Tapestry, I believe they made the right decision. They really had no choice anyway because of the strict rules over there. It wouldn't have gone over very well had they let him do Lasix just because he was here. Hong Kong bleeding rules are pretty similar to Australia and if the horse scores a 3 or4 rating for blood in the trachea, he will be required to have a full vet exam after a gallop.
    Interestingly, in Australia, bleeding on scope doesn't count as bleeding. It only counts if blood is showing in the nostrils. Apparently, Australia doesn't even like to scope period.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    Which I find ironic, because the smallest amount of bleeding can cause scarring, so by waiting till you see it from the nostrils (and some racing jurisdictions only count it if it's from BOTH nostrils, the damage is significant.
  • I know, Casey, and just the other day I was discussing this with a horse racing fan from Australia and he said they thought we were barbaric with all our scoping. I think they will if a horse suddenly has a really bad performance and there is no obvious reason and Hong Kong is pretty much the same, but they don't do it near as much. And they are strict about only going by blood in both nostrils. It's interesting.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    If they think scoping is barbaric, what do they do when they have to tube a horse mineral oil? Scoping is much easier on them!
  • I think this particular person just thinks we scope constantly multiple times daily.
    And I have no idea about that or why they would do that.
  • caseycasey any racetrack with camera in handMember
    Usually, when you scope upper airway, you only go as far as the larynx. You can go into the trach, and if blood is in the trach, you know it's a bleeder. So consider the size of a horse, blood in the trachea that then travels through into he nostrils, that's a LONG way from the lungs. Hence the increased severity of the bleed. Horses have incredible clotting abilities- it's why they can lacerate an artery in the field, bleed a lot, and still remain standing. A vet once told me that they'd have to lose a gallon of blood before they even began to feel it.
  • Thanks, Casey. I have no idea about scoping horses and I wondered how far they scope for bleeding. I also didn't know that about their clotting abilities. They are amazing animals to learn about. Thank you.
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