AAEP Releases Clinical Guidelines On Racehorse Care

by Veterinary Practice News Editors | October 29, 2010 6:10 pm

The American Association of Equine Practitioners today released the document “Clinical Guidelines for Veterinarians Practicing in a Pari-Mutuel Environment.”

The guidelines, intended for veterinarians who treat racehorses, focus on the practice of administering medical treatment to a horse based on the entry date for its next race.

All medical treatment of the racehorses should be based upon a veterinary diagnosis with appropriate time allowed for an evaluation following treatment to ensure the horse is recovered before it races again, according to AAEP. However, the association noted that the entry date should not be the primary factor when evaluating a horse’s need for medical care.

“Our purpose is to reinforce sound medical principles within the unique environment of racing,” said Nat White, DVM, president of the AAEP. “As horse racing continues its pursuit of increased safety, we understand the need for us, as veterinarians, to examine our role in medication usage and medical treatment. These guidelines affirm the already excellent medical care provided by many veterinarians.”

In addition to medication, the guidelines address the use of therapies such as shockwave therapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The document also contains recommendations for maintaining medical records and changing the current racetrack veterinary business model to one which bases billing on professional services rendered, rather than the dispensing or administration of medication.

Examples of “core recommendations” as found in the guidelines include:

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The complete document can be viewed by clicking here[1].

The guidelines, which were developed by the AAEP Racing Committee, will be updated as new research arises, according to AAEP.


  1. here: http://www.aaep.org/white_papers.htm

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