The AAEP Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), announced its designation of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) research as a fundraising priority.
EIPH refers to the presence of blood in the airways of a horse’s lung during exercise. The condition is commonly reported in racehorses, but it can occur in any horse during strenuous exercise. Up to 68% of Thoroughbred racehorses have evidence of blood in their trachea post-exercise, with 36% of these horses experiencing moderate to severe EIPH (grades 2-4) after any given race (Morley et al. 2015). Horses with a grade 2 score or higher have significantly decreased athletic performance.
“As doctors of veterinary medicine, we see the effects of EIPH every day through our care of the athletic horse,” said Dr. Jeff Berk, chair of the AAEP’s Foundation Advisory Council. “Finding solutions for this pervasive condition will require new research and significant financial resources, and the AAEP Foundation’s goal is to build on the momentum already underway in the research community.”
As part of its strategic focus on EIPH research, the AAEP Foundation will continue its collaboration with the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation (GJCRF). In 2015, GJCRF launched the funding of two projects aimed at in-depth investigation of the pathophysiology of EIPH and the effect of the medication furosemide on the condition. The AAEP Foundation, along with other racing industry groups, helped fund these projects.
Future EIPH grant applications submitted to the GJCRF will go through the normal rigorous scientific review process. EIPH grants determined to have exceptional scientific merit by the GJCRF Research Advisory Committee will be eligible for funding by the AAEP Foundation, GJCRF or jointly.
The deadline to submit grant applications to the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation for funding in 2017 is Monday, October 3, 2016. Review the process here.
The AAEP’s commitment to finding new, efficacious management strategies for EIPH is one prong of the AAEP’s Prescription for Racing Reform, a 10-point plan designed to both protect the health of racing’s equine athletes and strengthen the integrity of the sport.
The AAEP Foundation hosted a research panel in November 2015 to investigate alternative EIPH management strategies which would not require race-day medication administration. The panel, which included experts in the fields of equine EIPH, pulmonary and cardiac physiology, lung pathology and human sports medicine, focused on a review of current scientific knowledge and identification of future research. View the EIPH panel report here.
To make a gift to the AAEP Foundation and support EIPH research, please donate online or call 859-233-0147.
The AAEP Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization created in 1994, serves as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners to improve the welfare of the horse. Since its inception, the Foundation has allocated more than $3.7 million to support its mission.
Morley PS, Bromberek JL, Saulez MN, Hinchcliff KW, Guthrie AJ, Exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage impairs racing performance in Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J 2015; 47:358-365.