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Association between the administration of phenylbutazone prior to racing and musculoskeletal and fatal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses in Argentina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Teresita Zambruno
  • Stamatis P Georgopoulos
  • Lisa A Boden
  • Tim D H Parkin

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-647
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume257
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2020

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between prerace administration of phenylbutazone and the risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSI) and fatal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses that raced between 2006 and 2015 at 2 of the 4 official racetracks in Argentina.

SAMPLE: Data from racetrack databases and veterinary reports on 283,193 race starts.

PROCEDURES: Data were collected relating to race performance and injury outcomes for starts at these tracks. The incidence of MSI and fatal injury was calculated for each year, stratified by the declared prerace administration of phenylbutazone. Univariable logistic regression, followed by multivariable logistic regression, was used to identify significant risk factors for both MSI and fatal injury.

RESULTS: Analyses identified associations between the declared prerace administration of phenylbutazone and the risk of MSI and fatal injury during racing. Horses with declared prerace phenylbutazone administration had greater odds of MSI (OR, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.03 to 2.04]) and fatal injury (OR, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.1 to 2.27]) than did horses racing without prerace phenylbutazone administration. These associations remained significant when other risk factors were accounted for in both multivariable models.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggested an association between the prerace administration of phenylbutazone and the risk of MSI and fatal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses during racing. Although these results did not imply a direct causal relationship between prerace phenylbutazone administration and injury, they may be considered in the development of more conservative medication policies to optimize racehorse welfare in North and Latin America.

ID: 165332490