BLEEDERS (Equine) Also referred to as “EXERCISE INDUCED PULMONARY HEMORRHAGE (EIPH) What it is Simply referred to as a “bleeder” in the equine competition world this condition occurs when a small cell (alveoli) ruptures in the lung, usually when the horse is in vigorous exercise or competition. The increased circulation feeding the rupture combined with increased blood pressure and the rush of air (oxygen) over the area makes the small blood leak in the tiny cell expand and foam to a much larger size. This expansion causes the efficiency of air flow in the lungs, and through the windpipe, to be hindered causing distress and a sudden lack of ability to breathe. Horses leading in races have actually been brought to a complete stop and have been known to collapse from the stress and the cut off of air (oxygen). When watching a horse running you might visually see when the bleeding occurs. It will be running just fine then its head will go straight into the air from the impact of air being cut off. It will slow or stop almost immediately. When stopped the horse can have a cough while trying to breathe. As a horse is allowed to settle down and its breathing becomes more normal the condition will diminish for the time being. After “cooling out” the animal may not indicate any signs at all of having bled however one thing should almost always be apparent. The presence of blood drainage in the nostril and when the horse puts it head down it will drain a large amount of blood to the ground. When a horse bleeds it also finds any type of swallowing difficult and will cough frequently from the pooling of blood in the air passage. WHAT IS THE CAUSE? Very much left to professional opinions (which vary widely) it is collectively believed to be influenced by factors such as over exertion, being unfit, and the increase of blood pressure during extreme stress. I attribute the biggest factor to be over exercised and unfit. I feel many horses are not given enough time to develop proper muscular, circulatory, and stress levels required for competition. Trainers are often given a false sense of confidence because a horse puts in a very good work or prep time once or twice. This does not always mean they are fit and ready for the true rigors of competition. Nutrition is a key factor for me. It is not just giving a good protein feed, or supplements recommended by vets or university studies. It is understanding that what you are feeding the horse will help those areas vital to being a good performer. YOU MUST FEED FOR RESPIRATION, CIRCULATION, STAMINA, AND OVERALL BODY MAINTENANCE. If you cannot find products to enhance these areas then you are not doing right by the horse! Financial availability when working with a horse is a contributor because the need to generate a profit in a short period of time drives many owners and trainers to cut corners in training. This is a major contributor to poor performance, breakdowns, and “sour horses”. I also attribute poor maintenance of stalls and the lack of good clean air circulating continuously as contributors. Having to breathe foul air and the pollutants of unclean stalls is hard on lungs and lung tissues. The continuous exposure can actually contribute to weakened tissue in respiratory tract and in the lungs. In order to understand the cause you would need to understand the Respiratory System and the Circulatory System which are both explained in the “ABOUT THE BODY” section of my website (purehealthchoice.com). Horses are creatures of habit and are trained to exert themselves at maximum levels. It gives all it has without knowing the danger to itself. During this exertion of energy the blood pressure on vessels increases, the circulation increases, the need for oxygen increases to feed the muscles which are working at peak performance level. If the pressure becomes too much a small cell (alveoli) in the lung will rupture. This tiny cell will emit just a small bead of blood, but the increased circulation and blood pressure combined with the vast amount of intake and output of air (oxygen) causes the blood bead to foam up many times its size. As this occurs (and most likely as nearby cells also rupture) the foam begins to infiltrate the air passage and will actually block air from circulating causing a choking affect. The horse stops running because of sudden loss of oxygen and of energy. It will appear to be labouring to breathe which can be similar to hyperventilation. It is important when a horse suffers from EIPH to have a professional vet “scope” the horse. A tube is inserted through the air passage and into the lung with a camera to show the severity of the damage. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? As already discussed the major symptoms of Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH) are as follows; 1. Rupture of the small cells (alveoli) in the lungs causing blood to foam and cut off air supply. 2. Blood drainage through the nostrils. Especially when it lowers its head. 3. Coughing as though choking for air. 4. Sudden stop of performance 5. Inability to swallow until calmed down. 6. Veins all over the body will be very pronounced. 7. The animal can stagger as though unable to maintain balance SUGGESTED SOLUTION Whether or not this condition can even really be treated is one for endless debate. Many different views are presented with fair argument of theory but I have yet to witness a “cut and dry” solution. It is believed that lowering the blood pressure could help. In this view the use of Furosemide (better understood as LASIX) is accepted in many competition venues. I have used it but I have always had reservation about the efficiency of its use and its acceptance level within the body. Also, if the horse has been on any medication programs involving the use of some drugs the efficiency (or even the ability) of Lasix to work could be hampered. In addition there is a slight chance that the utilization of Lasix could have a negative influence on the kidneys. It is my contention that there is a more natural solution to prevention and dealing with EIPH. THROUGH A GOOD NUTRITION PROGRAM. Although I have used Lasix in my racing career I have also experienced less of the need because of dietary supplements which I have made myself. I have actually removed horses from a Lasix program (usually if a horse is put on Lasix it must remain on it for the duration of its racing career unless the racing officials give you permission to remove the medication). The program I am outlining below has been used by me with horses I have owned and trained. I feel the success rate is present with this program and n the long run the maintenance expense seems to be less. Patience is the key. If you expect an overnight turn around then forget it! It will take time to “feed the body” the nutrition it needs and then it will take time for the body’s defence and immune systems to repair themselves. I will say that you can receive some signs of change in as little as a week but the total affect takes a long time. Horses can train while doing this program and can even compete since the ingredients are 100% food product. 1. THE STALL. Should be spacious and very airy. Good clean air should flow through the barn via doors or open windows. Let the horse look out a window if there is one. Outside air is always fresher than inside air. The stall should be cleaned of any manure and urine piles as often as possible. The smell from these is very unpleasant to the lungs and to the passages connected to smell. Also the floor of the stall should remain open to let the air dissipate any spots and stains. DO NOT PUT LIME ON THE FLOOR OF A STALL!! If inhaled it will burn the respiratory passage. Cold air is good for the horse. Let it breathe fresh air as much as possible. 2. Make sure hay and straw (or other bedding material) is clean and free of dust. It is a general practice to wet hay down before feeding but if it is properly refined and stored it should be dust free and not need wetting. I have always been cautious of dampened hay. I feel it is “colic waiting to happen”. Wet straw will contribute to smells and to the build up of mould which is severe on the respiratory tract when inhaled. 3. Feed should be of proper protein content and any supplements added should be considered for content as well. Manufacturers make all sorts of feeds claiming “perfect for this type of horse, or that type” but I believe in the basics of years ago and not the new product blends on the market today. The additives discourage my use. When racing I used a 12% protein sweet feed and my own supplement MAXIMUM SUPPLEMENT which contains about every vitamin, mineral and nutritional need the horse may require. With better health results and a more natural diet. 4. I suggest the use of either EQUINE DAILY SUPPLEMENT or MAXIMUM SUPPLEMENT on a routine basis. With either of these products (although I prefer the latter) you will get a complete natural nutritional supplement which will help you horse in so many ways. It contains ingredients which will help the body to produce healing and stronger tissues in the lungs. Will help to strengthen vessels and veins and enrich the blood to be healthier and more able to carry oxygen to the various parts of the body. 5. Breathing during exercise can be effectively helped with the use of another of my products PICKUP 1 CONDITIONER. This is a very good juice which is given orally each morning and prior to any exercise or competition. I is good fro energy and for breathing. The contents help to warm the blood and strengthen vessels and veins when in use. 6. Training should become slow, long, and continuous. If the horse has an actual bleeding episode it should do nothing more than walk for seven days and then get back into a very slow and patient training program. During this time the products suggested should be utilized according to instructions. Training should pickup in intensity in seven day intervals so that by thirty days it is going as before the incident. DO NOT USE A TONGUE TIE DURING THIS PROCESS. The key is not to get the horse overly excited during training. The tongue tie sends a competitive message to the horse. We do not want that. 7. If there is trouble getting the horse to relax during stall time and/or training then I offer another natural product to assist in this case. It is called “EAZY DUZ IT!!!! . It is a very good and all natural calming solution. It does not drug the horse. Just helps calm the nerves. As you can see there is a lot to a horse with bleeding problems but with a good and patient program the problem can be worked with. To guarantee 100% percent success is impossible but I am confident that (horse per horse) results can be achieved. Once you have started with this program please stick with it. At least for thirty days and remember that if the problem seems like it is solved and you will not need the program anymore THINK AGAIN!! The product will help the lungs as long as it is used. Stop when you like but the condition can recur. PROGRAM: EQUINE DAILY SUPPLEMENT OR MAXIMUM SUPPLEMENT (preferred) First five days will be 4 ounces two times per day mixed into feed. Hot mash preferred. After that just three ounces twice per day every day is suggested. PICKUP 1 CONDITIONER Six ounces every morning after feeding. Four more ounces before a workout, or exercise of any sort, four ounces prior to race. EAZYDUZIT!!!! Four ounces before exercise or workout. Can be given prior to race.