Scoping, EIPH and Lasix

Archie Graham was scoped after his last workout. “Scoping” refers to an endoscopic exam by which a vet is able to examine a horse’s airways. A long, flexible camera tube is slid into the horse’s nostril to view their airways.

(see video of a horse getting scoped below, if viewing via email, you won’t see video. Go to for video to play)

Vets are able to use this tool to determine if a horse has any condition that may inhibit it’s ability to breathe.

In Archie’s case, we were checking to see if he had any bleeding. Bleeding, or EIPH (exercised induced pulmonary hemorrhage) is caused when the blood pressure builds in the lung capillaries and the capillaries burst, resulting in blood in the lungs. EIPH can affect performance, but also lead to respiratory infections.

According to some studies, it is estimated that 90% of racehorses have experienced EIPH. During a race or fast workout, a racehorse will consume 19 gallons of oxygen/minute, heart rate increases to 220 beats/min, 3 pints of blood are pumped through the heart per beat, and 75 plus gallons of blood are pumped through the horse’s lung every minute.

To prevent this condition, anti-bleeder supplements have been developed and the medication, Lasix, is permitted on race day. Lasix is the same medication that is used in humans as a diuretic. It has a similar effect in racehorses. A horse administered Lasix will eliminate water weight through urine prior to a race. The Lasix then reduces the blood pressure in the lungs and reduces the risk of bleeding.

In Archie’s case, we know he runs on Lasix (as seen on the charts) and we plan to administer Lasix on race day. We cannot know if he has actively bled in the past, but for his well being, we work to prevent the condition.

There has been much discussion and debate about the administration of race day medication (Lasix and Bute). One segment is WHOA (Water, Hay, Oats Alliance) that doesn’t believe in administration of race day medications, and the other segment that does believe there is a benefit in the administration of such drugs.

As an owner, you have to decide where in that debate you feel comfortable. That decision should be made after thorough research of both sides and active discussion with your trainer and vet on the best decision for your individual horse based on their well being and personal needs.

Archie Graham Race Update

Archie will be entered on Wednesday in Extra Race 2 to be run on Saturday, May 14. The race is a $10,000 claiming race for three year olds and upward going one mile. You can view the extra on the bottom of the Friday Overnight here.

We will know Wednesday afternoon if the race has filled and is being used.

Should Archie run on Saturday, I will post a blog detailing the paddock process for the day, where you can view the races and how to request will call through the Horsemen’s Liaison.

Happy racing!

6 thoughts on “Scoping, EIPH and Lasix

  1. I am coming in tomorrow (Wednesday) morning for the first time. You mention a lanyard, I have the owners card but I don’t have a lanyard…. Laurie

  2. Glad for the clean bill of health. I can’t say I would be nearly as patient if someone ran a tube through my nose into my lungs.

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