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[RC] FEI drug rule - Bruce Weary DC

There is a huge hole in the thinking of those who support "acceptable" levels of certain drugs, including
NSAID's in the competing horse. Our entire industry of pharmacy both for people and animals takes
great care to impose safeguards and provide education regarding not only the side effects of medications (which
are different for everyone) and dangerous drug interactions, but also the very deadly possibility of
anaphylactic shock from a drug hypersensitivity or allergy. The reports of how this decision was arrived at
and decided upon doesn't seem to describe that the morbidity or mortality of adverse drug reactions
*regardless of the "acceptable" level of dosage* were taken into account.
The following article covers this clinical problem, which can easily kill a horse, or a human, for that matter:


Could it be that, once again, money, or the potential loss of it, has clouded the thinking of those involved
at the higher levels of the more expensive forms of equine competition? I can imagine the frustration of training
and shipping a half-million dollar dressage or eventing horse to some far-flung international competition, only to find the horse
is a little lame from the travel, and the temptation of thinking, "Surely, a little bute won't hurt him,
and it would be so nice to be able to let him compete, anyway. Just think of the money we have invested."

The typical home-grown endurance rider might be out the cost of his gas, and a few hours on the road
if he or she has to turn around and go home because their horse was lame when he came out of the trailer.
No biggie. If it's the NC, and the horse is being considered for purchase by some sheik, I can see where
it could influence the thinking of even a grass roots AERC member into thinking "just a little bute" might be okay.

There are more than a few in our sport who would like to see the approval of PPI's like
omeprazole allowed, so that horses with active ulceration could be asked to run 100 miles.I can hear
the screeching of our fingernails as we try to hang on to that slippery slope. The persistent use of these drugs in
humans has been shown to cause a huge increase in the incidence of fractures, particularly of the hip. It is a well
known fact that hip fracture in humans after the age of 65 has a 30-50% mortality rate in six months
post-fracture. These drugs almost certainly disrupt the metabolism of calcium, the most regulated ion
in the body. Almost all endurance riders know the importance of their horse having access to and properly processing
calcium, especially during an endurance ride.

How badly do we really need to keep a particular horse on the trail, much less try to compete or win on him,
if his physiology or pathology is telling us he can't do it without medication?

This ain't over. Bruce Weary


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