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US Salix Use "Detrimental To Genetic Health"

Thursday, 16th June 2011

In the US, the landmark 2-day International Summit On Race-Day Medication, EIPH & The Racehorse at Belmont Park in New York was told “concerns about Salix’s performance-enhancing attributes may pale in comparison to the potential detrimental effects the drug’s widespread use in North America may have on the genetic health of the thoroughbred,” reported bloodhorse.com. The heritability of EIPH (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhaging, commonly known as bleeding) came to light during a veterinarian panel discussion when South African-based international veterinarian John McVeigh highlighted a study published in the South African Journal Of Animal Science. McVeigh warned: “The relationship between runners with EIPH & the stallion has a heritability of 0.4, which is very high. The 2 sires that produced the most bleeder progeny were both champion sires.” The study found “EIPH in Southern African thoroughbred sires has a strong genetic basis” & McVeigh noted “how the South African study relates to Salix being used in the US is that more American stallions are being exported to South Africa & the average number of bleeders per runners is increasing in South Africa”. The study suggested all stallion prospects that were treated with Salix while racing “should be barred from breeding & not be considered as future sires.” This is a policy currently followed by the German stud book & McVeigh said discussions held during the medication summit “need to keep the strong heritability of EIPH in mind” & summed up: “I think we all need to owe it to ourselves as to whether this is a red book condition. We owe it to the horse.” To read the full report, click on the top link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand-side of this page.

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