“It wasn’t un­til the late 1970s that the en­do­scope came along,” says Larry Bram­lage, DVM. This, he says, al­lowed for in­ves­ti­ga­tion of “bleed­ing” (ex­er­ci­sein­duced pul­monary hem­or­rhage), the pres­ence of blood in the air­ways of horses af­ter in­tense ex­er­cise

EQUUS - - Special Report -

to­day’s race­horses. Cowles ex­plains: “Back then you had more di­lu­tion of the pop­u­la­tion, fewer horses and less con­cen­tra­tion of them in spe­cific ar­eas. As a re­sult, the spread of in­fec­tions was not as fast as it is to­day.”

The ap­proach to another sig­nif­i­cant res­pi­ra­tory con­cern of race­horses changed even more re­cently, thanks to de­vel­op­ments in imag­ing tech­nol­ogy. “It wasn’t un­til the late 1970s that the en­do­scope came along,” says Bram­lage. tiny cam­eras that trans­mit im­ages back to a screen in real time, even as the horse is worked. Us­ing these ad­vances, re­searchers dis­cov­ered that the blood was com­ing from deep in the lungs and re­lated to changes in pres­sure as the horse ex­erted him­self. “We also learned that it’s a fact of life with hard­work­ing horses,” says Bram­lage, “but some­thing we need to mon­i­tor.”

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