running brown horse

Prevention and Treatment of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Horses

Frederic Bousquet

Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, or EIPH, is still without a known cause. However, this disorder is well-known to affect all racehorses at some point during their racing careers. It has also been observed in steeplechasers, polo ponies, and other equine athletes, as well as in draft horses that must pull heavy loads on a regular basis.

Bleeding and Its Effects on Horse Health

Although no one has been able to zero in on why horses bleed following strenuous exercise, it’s been theorized that the high pressure in a horse’s body during intense exercise can cause the rupture of some capillaries in the lungs.

Two aspects of EIPH that are known are that lung damage occurs with each episode of bleeding and bleeding episodes can result in fatal pulmonary hemorrhage. Although it has not been proven, many horse owners have speculated that the cumulative lung damage caused by EIPH impairs racing performance.

Lasix as an EIPH Prevention Option

Lasix, also marketed as Salix, is a popular pharmaceutical that’s used to prevent EIPH in racehorses. Also known as furosemide, this drug is administered by a veterinarian approximately four hours before a race. Lasix also has diuretic properties, causing horses to lose large amounts of fluid through urination before a race, which improves their speed.

Lasix is widely accepted as an effective option for the prevention of EIPH in horses racing in North America. However, this controversial drug has been banned not only in a growing number of countries but also in a growing number of states because of its ability to mask the presence of illegal performance drugs in a horse’s system.

The unfortunate reality is that the diuretic properties of Lasix can cause a horse to become dehydrated, decrease their blood calcium levels, and cause electrolyte imbalance.

Equi Herbs No Bleed

A Healthier Alternative

Many horse owners have explored the potential benefits of equine herbal products, both to maintain their horse’s health and to reduce instances of EIPH and other disorders. The goal of these products is to give horses lung-specific nutrients to strengthen the lungs and their capillaries, as well as ensure full lung capacity by preventing airway congestion.

Much success has been realized when certain herbal combinations have been administered to horses. The best combinations help to reduce bleeding naturally by:

  • Strengthening and supporting lung capillaries
  • Cleansing the blood
  • Regulating blood-glucose levels
  • Improving joint stiffness
  • Relieving itching

They also provide high-quality plant-based nutrients to support vitality and health overall. The right product combinations also do not require a veterinarian to administer. Finally, they should be safe enough to administer to your horse daily.

The all-natural No Bleed Bleeder Formula from Equi-Herbs contains a nutrient-rich combination of lung-specific herbs, as well as herbs for horse health, including licorice, salvia root, dandelion, and turmeric. One scoop per day is all that’s needed to support your horse’s respiratory system without fillers, sugars, and chemicals. Learn more about our No Bleed and other all-natural horse products. Call 1-800-786-0708.