White, N. A., and S. E. Palmer. "Therapeutics in Sport Horse Competition: Searching for Definition." Equine Veterinary Education 339-340 26 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
"U.S. Equestrian Federation Modifies NSAID Rules." DVM Newsmagazine (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Kane, Ed. "Panel Questions Drugs in Horse Racing." DVM Newsmagazine (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
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This editorial in the Equine Veterinary Education Journal explains the guidelines for therapeutic medications in performance horses developed by the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The authors reveal that drug abuse occurs at competition and during training, and that in order to ensure the horse's welfare, the veterinarian should always be involved in medication decisions. They also mention the soring of Tennessee Walkers, the use of NSAIDs to mask lameness in show horses, and the dangerous use of corticosteroids to make a horse more quiet. Finally, they acknowledge that there isn't consensus regarding the proper maintenance of the horse, though unnecessary joint injections would be considered abuse. This is relevant to my research because it acknowledges that there is drug abuse in show horses, and it also addressed the common types of abuse: treatments for lameness and to modify behavior.
This article in the DVM newsmagazine discusses a relatively recent USEF rule change that limits horses to one approved NSAID at the time of competition. This is extremely relevant to my research because NSAIDs are the most commonly used drugs in show horses. They are so common that many trainers forget possible complications and dangers of the drugs, and many overuse them. Though two years ago they were restricted to one NSAID, they are now turning to alternate methods which need to be investigated further.
This article was also published in 2012 in the DVM newsmagazine. It addresses the use of drugs in racehorses, explaining that many horses are on NSAIDs (usually Bute) daily, regardless of whether it's necessary. In addition, several drugs can cover up lameness, which becomes dangerous. These two points are important to my research because they parallel the medication of show horses. There has been more research and action taken in the racing industry due to its popularity with the public, but there has not been as much focus on the same practices in competition horses.
This article in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly investigates the role of the media in agenda setting related to horse racing. In 2012, the New York Times published several stories regarding the abuse of medications in racehorses, and research found that other sources of media increased their coverage of equine drug use following the New York Times' publications. This type of information is important to research involving show horses. The New York Times published an article about Humble's death at the Devon Horse Show, but since, no mainstream media outlet has investigated the use of drugs in competition horses. This may contribute to its absence from the agenda.
This review in the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics discusses the effects of Bute in horses, which has warranted further attention due to its overuse in racehorses. It explains that its purpose is to treat inflammation or soreness, often in older horses or horses with arthritis, and is not the type of drug that would cover up a severe injury on its own. Many veterinarians support the use of NSAIDs in show horses in order for them to be comfortable. However, the use is controversial when it can potentially lead to further injury, interfere with a pre-purchase exam, or lead to dangerous conditions. High doses are also dangerous and can lead to gastric problems. Finally, Bute is most effective relatively shortly after administration. This information is especially important to my research because it reveals that the use of NSAIDs is deemed by many veterinarians to be acceptable in show horses. Therefore, it can be hard for a trainer to judge what is good for the horse and what isn't, and this is how many cases start to get out of hand. It is important to research what people view as acceptable, and how they judge what medications are appropriate to give a horse.
This study examines the effects of Bute, Banamine, and ketoprofen in horses. Horses treated with Bute, Banamine, and ketoprofen all had effects in the glandular portion of the stomach, while the horses treated with Bute also had edema, erosion, and ulcers in the colon and small intestine. This study is relevant to my research because it reveals the effects the most common NSAIDs have on horses. This type of research is used to determine USEF rules and guidelines, but there is no research regarding whether owners and trainers are aware of these effects.
This study examines the effects of using Bute and Banamine simultaneously in horses. Results found that the combination of drugs used to treat lameness is not more effective than the use of a single NSAID. This research is especially relevant to the dangerous practice of stacking drugs in competition horses. It is important to determine whether competitors are aware that the practice does not provide any extra relief to their horses. There has not been much research regarding the knowledge base of trainers, owners, and riders.