Gas Gangrene in Thoroughbred racehorses

The label reads, "Banamine Injectable Solution in as anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Used in horses for the alleviation of inflammation and pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders and for the alleviation of visceral pain associated with colic. Each ml of Banamine Injectable Solution contains flunixin meglumine equivalent to 50 mg flunixin.

We had a post in the pipeline regarding gas gangrene in racehorses. It just so happens the Ray Paulick Report has written about it too.

One drug that causes gas gangrene and regularly given to racehorses is the drug Banamine®.

The Paulick Report post entitled ‘Gas Gangrene’ An Equine Emergency, begins the article describing this serious, life threatening side effects of this type of drug.

Caslon Quote Left BlackA rare-but-serious bacterial infection, clostridial myositis, causes inflammation, muscle death and the release of toxins into a horse’s bloodstream. Prompt intervention with aggressive antibiotic treatment and wound debridement is key to a horse’s survival.

Also called gas gangrene, myonecrosis or malignant edema, it occurs most often in horses that have received an injection in their muscle. Affected horses will have swelling, heat and pain surrounding the injection site within 6 to 72 hours; the disease progresses swiftly and a horse’s condition may decline rapidly. Death may occur.”

andCaslon Quote Left Black[Gas gangrene] has been reported following IM injections of vaccines, phenylbutazone, ivermectin, antihistamines, vitamins, prostaglandins, and most commonly, flunixin meglumine (Banamine). It is not fully understood how the spores penetrate the muscle, whether they arrive at the time of injection or if the bacteria are present in the intestine and brought to the muscle via the bloodstream.”

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What the article describes but doesn’t show you is an image of what the treatment for gas gangrene looks like, such as this one.

The Paulick Report continues:

Caslon Quote Left Black

Treatment involves creating large incisions into the muscle and fascia to expose the bacteria to oxygen and removing dead tissue. Horses should receive supportive care and are typically treated with high doses of penicillin and fluids.

Horses that survive the initial stages of the disease have a good prognosis, though the wounds that are made by the veterinarians to expose the bacteria to air may take months to heal completely.”

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“Horses that survive .  .  .  .”

This is just what American racehorse owners and trainers and their apologists are running around the country defending and asserting it is their every right to do. And how dare we, the bleeding heart public and animal rights extremists protest this and call them into question.

The most sickening quote of all from horse racing is constantly saying how much they love their horses. Totally. Nauseating.

This condition is drug induced. They know that this can happen. Yet they ask us to trust them — who support situations like this as “business as usual” and “their right to do” to an innocent animal totally dependent on them for their health, safety and welfare.

We can’t see American horseracing ever doing right by the racehorse.

How can we possibly accept there will ever be reform when it looks such a no hoper? What would that reform actually look like, how long would it last and how can we have even a glimmer of expectation it would actually be implemented?

It’s alright for us to fight, debate, report, and expose horse racing in an effort to make them clean up their act — or better yet simply go away — no matter how long it takes. We aren’t the ones being drugged, tortured and run to death on a racetrack. Whatever we decide, we need to do it quickly and comprehensively.

In the meantime, you the gambler is ultimately responsible. It’s all about “the handle”. That is what keeps horse racing alive. But you wring your hands and bemoan the fate of racehorses, like you really care. It looks to us that what you are truly worried about is that horse racing itself might actually come to an end. Why not admit it? How tragic it all is for the racehorse. It’s not like there is nothing else to bet on.

RELATED READING

The Chemical Horse

by JANE ALLIN

You can find Banamine® in Part 4.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction | Part 2: Historical Aspects | Part 3: The Inception of Drug Testing | Part 4: Drugs and Their Actions | Part 5: Policies and Tactics | Part 6: Class 3 Drugs — Performance Enhancing or Not? | Part 7: Class 4 Drugs — Harmless Therapeutics? | Part 8: The Unclassifieds | Part 9: The Call for Reform | Part 10: Who Rules?