Lasix Revisited as Horse Bleeds From Both Nostrils

As those of you with a decent knowledge of this industry well know, Lasix is a controversial issue. There are those, the so-called reformers, who hold that the drug is but a performance-enhancer: A diuretic, Lasix helps shed water weight (lighter=faster) and, as a flush, may also aid in concealing the illegal stuff. The other side argues that Lasix is humane: Rapidly-moving racehorses, they say, naturally bleed from their lungs – “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage,” it’s called.

Count $115-million trainer Dale Romans among those who have defended the drug: “Racing causes [EIPH] in 100% of horses. [O]ne of the worst abuses that can be done to the racing horse is to ban Lasix.” Colleague Rick Violette: “Horses bleed. That is a fact. To force an animal to race without [Lasix] is premeditated, borderline animal abuse.” Finally, and most damning, trainer Mike Rogers: “This BS that horses don’t bleed is insane. They actually bleed so much, they’re drowning.”

That raceday Lasix is primarily used to make horses faster is a pretty good bet. But what if the Romans/Violette/Rogers crowd is also correct – that pulmonary bleeding is inherent in a racing-horse? Translated, this would mean that the “sport’s” fundamental physical action universally causes some level of pain or suffering; the abuse the above are so compassionately attempting to save their horses from is already there – from the start.

With all that as backdrop, this from the 6th at Mahoning yesterday: “Cowtown Cowboy chased the pace into the turn, stopped and returned bleeding bilaterally” – from both nostrils, that is. And yes, he was on Lasix. The 8-year-old Cowtown, by the way, had just recently resurfaced after a 27-month absence from racing.

12 Comments

  1. Animals are money to these sadistic uncontrollable crettins. If they don’t get punished enough they will NEVER stop.

  2. We have had Lasix used on US. It was used on us as a way to test for kidney function. Lasix is VERY nasty stuff! Our horses run very hard out in our heavy, muddy fields at this time of year & sound exactly like horses galloping on the track in the mornings we used to ride.NONE have ever bled yet. Our horses have a 1/2 mile of field to run in. So distance is very comparable to what they would encounter at a track except for a few things, no rider weight or bits/ equipment & much softer surface / yielding surface too.Also they gallop freely & because they want to without force!

      • Very true! All of our horses will hug you tightly & scratch the middle of your back where one can`t reach when you scratch them.

  3. The fact that these morally depraved, cruel, sadistic people can and do prioritize the act of racing horses over the health and happiness of the horses while knowing that racing causes the small, internal parts of the lungs to burst and therefore induce bleeding from the lungs and have blood coming out of the nostrils of the abused and routinely tortured horse is exactly why this type of ANIMAL CRUELTY/ ANIMAL ABUSE (racing) needs to be against the law and punishable by law.
    Is it possible for these die-hard horse-abusers to hear what they are saying?????Can this morally depraved and demented so-called trainer Dale Romans hear what he is saying????????

  4. I don’t see any human athletes gushing blood from their noses – or any other oriface – on a regular basis and it being called normal or even desirable. In most medical realms, bleeding is a sign of a problem, not an issue that needs to be defended or excused.

  5. According to Rxlist.com, some side effects of Lasix (in humans) include:
    – increased urination,
    – thirst,
    – muscle cramps,
    – itching or rash,
    – weakness,
    – dizziness
    – spinning sensation,
    – diarrhea,
    – stomacjh pain, and
    – constipation.
    Serious side effects of Lasix (in humans) include:
    – dehydration
    – dark urine,
    – clay-colored stools,
    – nausea,
    – vomiting,
    – fever, and
    – jaundice
    I am not in the medical field, so I don’t know which of the above appy to horses. My guess is some of them do.

    • As a former owner/trainer I can say with 100% certainty that Lasix given to racehorses causes massive increased urination which is designed to “lighten” the racehorse so it runs faster.
      The increased urination leads to dehydration and most all trainers remove the water buckets from their stalls at least 4 hours before racing so that they don’t regain the weight by drinking fluids.
      Some really cruel trainers remove their water buckets the night before so they are dehydrated even before they get their Lasix shot.
      Those are the racehorses that try to drink their urine because they are so thirsty and trainers can do whatever they want to these racehorses including withholding water.
      I can’t attest to the more subjective side effects because, obviously, horses can’t talk so that would be things like dizziness or stomach pain.
      However, Lasix tends to affect the fillies by initiating a “tying-up” episode which is when their entire muscular system cramps up sometimes causing seizures and they are still sent out to run once the episode subsides.
      There’s some really nasty stuff going on in the stable areas and there is no neutral oversight and if there is oversight nothing ever becomes of it because the powerful HBPA (horsemen groups) protects their trainers.
      Plus the HBPA have millions of dollars at their disposal due to our politicians handing it out to them with little to no caveats or anything resembling even the least of protections for racehorses.
      Even after years of millions they still don’t have a mandatory financial contribution in place for racehorse aftercare – not even 1%.
      Once a racehorse enters a stall they are considered property and they are, what I call, at the point of no return.

      • It makes no sense to deliberately and willfully cause a living, breathing animal to become: 1) DEHYDRATED by withholding water and administering this drug called Lasix, 2) OVEREXERTED by forced running, and 3) OVERHEATED as a consequence. It’s insanely INHUMANE to the horses!!! It’s a no-brainer that the horses abused in this way will be more subject to dropping dead.

  6. Horses are meant to be family members who are treated kindly. this is horrible that people would be so cruel to give drugs to horses to make them suffer with bleeding nostrils. They do not care for the horses-only for the money. These people should be criminally prosecuted for their misdeeds.

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