kmfdm asked in SportsHorse Racing · 1 decade ago

do racehorses really NEED drugs?

what kind of drugs are they usually given, and why? how do the drugs help? and can racehorses go without these drugs, and still win big races?

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There’s a lot controversy and pressure surrounding this very question, mostly about training and racing two-year-olds and medicating them. Although anabolic steroids were banned last year in several states, still noted are other drugs are still being used and loopholes exist for horse trainers/owners to use the drug still. Lasix, phenylbutazone and corticosteroids are the three most prominent legal drugs being used in racetracks across the country right now. Lasix prevents the bleeding of horses during races while phenylbutazone is an anti-inflammatory drug and corticosteroids are to help with pain and inflammation. It's true that too many medications impact a horse’s health. And, the concern of all three of these types of legal drugs is still alive.

    The Industry concerns are on three major types of legal drugs. One is Lasix, a race-day drug many in the industry agree is beneficial to the horse because it prevents bleeding in the lungs, a common problem. The second type is nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, typically phenylbutazone, flunixin and ketoprofen. Most racing jurisdictions allow the use of one of those drugs over a prescribed period of time before a horse’s race. A number of veterinarians who examine horses for soundness before they race are concerned that the presence of those drugs compromises their ability to properly evaluate horses. The third type of drugs most frequently mentioned as being overused are steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which is a ‘cortisone-type drugs’ typically used in a joint to decrease inflammation Compared to other countries, the stricter medication laws are in place in the U.S. All other racing jurisdictions in the world have more much stringent laws on medication use or a complete ban.

    Although, The Jockey Club and other key players have supported the ban of anabolic steroids, still more could be done for the well-being of our horses.


  • 1 decade ago

    The drugs that are administered to horses are usually for bleeding and breathing problems. The use of lasix helps to stop a horse from bleeding through its air passages while running. Even if a horse was just a pleasure rider at home, if you were to ride at a decent gallop, your horse should be using this drug. However, I believe that far to often, especially in the racing industry that the drug use is quite abused. More horses receive drugs when I think in fact they really don't need them. It is all a matter of control by each and every state. Performance enhancing drugs are not allowed period. A trainer could lose his license for life if caught. The law permits the drugs that are of beneficial use for the physical and mental well being of the animal. It is by no means cruel, as it is for the better health of a horse in general. Controversy has surrounded this subject for years in several states, but the use of drugs to help breathing problems is good. A bleeder actually is prone to choking on its own blood. Does that sound healthy? I am aware of your concern and hope you feel better about this subject now.

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