MEDICATIONS AT THE RACETRACK
VET BILLS FROM A LEADING TRAINER cont'd...
7/1 Electrolyte Vitamin Jug
HORSE RACED AND WON 7/3!
7/12 Bronchial Injection
HORSE RACED AND WON 7/16!
This month the horse has won
two races. Incidentally, one purse in one of the races was taken back
three months later. The DRUG TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE! Perhaps the
buildup of so many medications finally showed through in spite of the
fact that the horse was on Lasix, a drug that can mask test results. The
trainer's comment when he found out was: "I don't understand. I
I will agree with that. Sometimes the vet bills of other horses in his barn were on the same page as those of this filly. I could see that every horse got the same stuff. The filly had been progressively dropped in price with each race and that is how she was able to win.
TOTAL VET BILLS FOR THIS MONTH ARE $420
8/1 Bronchial Injection
HORSE RACED HER LAST RACE 8/6
8/7 Eye Medication
Did you notice something different in this bill? The horse has been given Bronchial Injections for a more persistent period of time. I suspect she had a massive lung infection resulting from the bleeding. The medications may have suppressed this temporarily enabling her to run until the medication could no longer mask the damage to her lungs. These injections could be Clenbuterol, a lung medication, or Prednisone, a steroid that is used a great deal in lung disease. It has many side effects, one of which is aggression. It is used very cautiously in humans, as the illusion of well-being can fool you into thinking that your lungs are well.
At this point, the horse has an accumulation of problems manifesting themselves. The bronchial injections may help get one more race. Since this trainer certainly knows the signs of distress, he took a final shot. The Estro IV (estrogen - a female hormone) also implies that there might be a problem with her breathing and/ or, her lungs.
I'm not sure the horse even finished the race. I saw her five months after that last race and her ankles were still swollen and misshapen. She had bowed the left front tendon down low and who knows what other damage had been done. It looked like the suspensory ligaments might also have been torn bilaterally. Unfortunately, there was so much disfigurement it was hard to tell. With time the ankles should start healing, but they will never be sound.
Had this horse been handled differently, she could have run for years. She did not have a bad step or bad luck at the track. This is a text book case of abuse and poor management... all done in the name of Horse Training by a leading trainer. This owner actually paid $45 a day to have a decent, talented horse ruined. He also paid enormous vet bills. Her bow may eventually heal, but she will never run again. She is only four years old. My recommendation to the owner was to breed her, if possible. (Steroids are known to cause fertility problems in horses. In the four years she has been retired, she has yet been able to conceive.)
As I reviewed this horse's history, I felt ill. Seeing the progressive use of medications, there is no doubt to the outcome. I hope you question what is being done to your horse... and then maybe he will have a chance for a lengthy career!