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.”


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.”


“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.


The Chemical Horse


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?

Milkshaking at Santa Anita

Box of Baking Soda.No mistaking. There was milkshaking at Santa Anita, with a side order of doping, according to the New York Times.

These things typically go unchecked like most of horse racing’s unscrupulous activities. However, one would think the Santa Anita cheaters would have been a bit more subtle with a media “death watch” settled in at their racetrack.

Imagine it. Doping and ‘shaking a horse right under everyone’s noses at a time like that.

In a June 26, 2019 article entitled, “Why So Many Horses Have Died at Santa Anita“, Joe Drape and Corinna Knoll of the New York Times reported:

On the morning of March 29, Santa Anita Park was reopening for racing for the first time in three weeks after the mystifying deaths of nearly two dozen horses.

Satellite trucks, national news reporters and animal rights activists converged for what had become a macabre death watch.

But California regulators were watching a live surveillance feed of a trainer’s assistant carrying a bucket into the stall of a horse named Tick Tock. Moments after the assistant left, a white foam was visible on the horse’s lips, often a telltale sign of performance-enhancing drugs.

Investigators later found syringes in the bucket, along with a fatigue-fighting agent known in racing parlance as a milkshake, according to hearing transcripts from the state’s Horse Racing Board.

The news that investigators believed Tick Tock had received such a concoction — before the first race on the first day of the track’s return to racing, no less — is indicative of the dysfunction that has enveloped Santa Anita the past six months, a period when horses had to be euthanized after suffering fractures at an alarming rate. Thirty horses have suffered this fate since Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, a storied racetrack that became a flash point this year for activists who want to ban the sport altogether.

Milkshaking is used to manipulate the performance of a racehorse without the knowledge of bettors or other horsemen. As is doping. Both are cheating. Since horse racing is gambled on that is a felony last time we looked. And right in front of all those eyewitnesses. What was done? Nada.

Not sure what a “milkshake” in this context is? Here’s a great diagram which will give you a good idea.

Illustration of tubing a racehorse, or milkshaking.
Illustration of tubing a racehorse, or milkshaking.

What a time to be so blatantly stupid. You can’t make this stuff up. The upshot of all this is that horse racing in America still believes it is untouchable, unstoppable, that all this too shall pass, and that nothing and no one is going to shut them down. And who’s to argue with them? However, times may be a-changing a little faster than they think.

But wait. It looks like after all that Tick Tock did not run. Poor horse.

The Paulick Report states in a April 2 article:

California Horse Racing Board officials are tightlipped over why horses trained by William E. Morey were ordered scratched last week by stewards at Golden Gate Fields in Albany in Northern California and Santa Anita Park in Arcadia in Southern California.

Visitant and Our Silver Oak finished first and third, respectively, for Morey in an allowance/optional claiming race that went as the sixth event at Golden Gate on Friday, March 29, at approximately 3:20 p.m. PT.

Hours earlier, stewards at Santa Anita ordered three Morey-trained horses – Tick Tock, Gate Speed and Lord Guinness – entered in the first, fifth and sixth races to be scratched.

Daily Racing Form reported that stewards at Santa Anita said the horses were scratched on Friday because of a “medication issue.”

A medication issue indeed.


About Milkshaking — The Horse »

Equibase Listing for Tick Tock »

H.R. 961 — Georgia and Hawaii

US Capitol Dome and Flag.
US Capitol Dome and Flag.

Call to Action — H.R. 961

Calling all residents of Georgia and Hawaii. Especially you Georgians! Let’s get busy.

Take action on behalf of horses and help get the cosponsors required to blast H.R. 961, The SAFE Act of 2019, out of Committee and onto the House Floor for debate and vote.

When H.R. 961 becomes law it will totally abolish the practice of slaughtering American horses for human consumption. Imagine the impact on the lives of our Quarter Horses (America’s Horse), Thoroughbreds and Wild Horses & Burros.

There is so very much at stake. Please help get and keep American horses out of the slaughterhouse.

Magic Number — 290

Here’s how we do it.

We need a minimum of 290 to take advantage of the Consensus Calendar Rule which will move the Bill onto the House Floor for debate and vote.

As of this writing, the SAFE Act of 2019 has 151 cosponsors.

Below are all U.S. Representatives for the States of Georgia and Hawaii. Those who have cosponsored H.R. 961 are marked with a big YES.

If they have not cosponsored, you know what to do. Contact them and ask that they cosponsor H.R. 961 at their earliest opportunity.

For those new to the process, here’s a link that will take you through it in simple, easy-to-follow steps right here on Tuesday’s Horse.


District 1: Buddy Carter (R)
District 2: Sanford Bishop (D) — YES!
District 3: Drew Ferguson (R)
District 4: Hank Johnson (D)
District 5: John Lewis (D)
District 6: Lucy McBath (D)
District 7: Rob Woodall (R)
District 8: Austin Scott (R)
District 9: Doug Collins (R)
District 10: Jody Hice (R)
District 11: Barry Loudermilk (R)
District 12: Rick W. Allen (R)
District 13: David Scott (D)
District 14: Tom Graves (R)


District 1: Ed Case (D)
District 2: Tulsi Gabbard (D) — YES!

*  *  *  *  *

Take Action

Contact the YES’s to say thank you (believe us, they will notice — tweet it with bill # for max effect; and the non YES’s and ask them to please cosponsor, that this a hot ticket issue, and very, very important to you.

You do not need to wait for your State to be called here on Tuesday’s Horse. Take action today no matter what State you are from. Do it all online anytime day or night. Go here now to take action against horse slaughter »


Find your U.S. Representative at (enter zip code and click ‘Look Up’, top right hand corner of landing page) »
Directory of Representatives at »
Tips for Taking Action on H.R. 961, Tuesday’s Horse »
How a Bill Becomes Law, Tuesday’s Horse »
All Cosponsors of H.R. 961 »

Constituency Services

Create an account with one of the constituency services below with a username and password. Take action on pending legislation important to you — such as H.R. 961  — and contact your U.S. Representatives and Senators with the guarantee that your message will be delivered to them and counted. You can also follow Bills, see who supports them, and what others are saying, plus a lot more.

We highly recommend getting involved in this way. »  | »

March Against Horse Slaughter

Three horses looking straight ahead. Photographer unknown.
Trio of determined looking horses. Photographer unknown.


This has been a tumultuous year for horse advocacy at The Horse Fund. So much so that we have barely blogged until just recently. And boy, do we have a lot to tell you.

March Against Horse Slaughter

We will start with “March Against Horse Slaughter”. This was no social media exercise where you never really know who you are dealing with. We took it to the streets — literally. Boy was it eye opening.

Opinions Counted

For the whole month of March we went out and talked to the average American about horse slaughter. We decided to have no preconceived ideas or agenda, just to find out this:— are they for it, against it, no longer care?

Horse Fund volunteers went to 139 US cities in 34 States from the east coast to the west coast. We always had at least two people present, one to talk with people and one to take notes on what was discussed. The note takers were armed with clickers who recorded the numbers of people we spoke with. The total tally was amazing. Close to a million people.

Misinformed Nuts

During this exercise, Leslie and I were in downtown Louisville, Kentucky for three days, before going to Lexington and Frankfort for several days each, talking to people about horse slaughter.

The most surprising of all the responses were from this group of people — the people who looked at us like we were misinformed nuts, telling us that horse slaughter was banned years ago, that horses weren’t being slaughtered in the US any more.

Well, it’s true no horses are being butchered legally on US soil we told them (only because of the continued yearly horse meat inspection defunding in the federal budget), but US borders are still open to the shipment of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter, and trucks loaded with horses from the US are being shipped there right now, today and every day, especially Quarter Horses and guess who — the Thoroughbred racehorse — among others. They were shocked. Truly stunned.

Shocking Brag

Not sure why, but what’s coming up below shocked us, although Leslie and I have read and heard it whispered about enough times.

Unwanted and injured racehorses from Kentucky are going to Canada to be dumped at a slaughterhouse we were informed face to face by an admitted racetrack worker. He told us he has hauled a bunch up there himself — from a famous Kentucky racecourse too he bragged.

“You bitches are ****ing stupid if you think you will ever get horse slaughter stopped”, he told us. “Racing and gambling will never let you and they got power you can’t begin to fight. And nobody elected can help you neither. They all owned. You betcha, everybody you think can help you is already owned.”

When you look at the fiasco that was this year’s Kentucky Derby, we can believe it. But foolishly or not, we are not put off. We must stop this. We will stop this.

Closing Borders to Horse Slaughter

It was in April and May, after we gathered the massive amounts of data we had collected, combed through it and analyzed it ourselves, and then had a professional take a look at it, that we arrived at the following conclusion.

Since it appears that we cannot rely on the US Congress to outlaw horse slaughter — and we have been trying since 2001 — we will go back to what we are good at and successful at doing. And that is working at the State level — like we did in Texas and Illinois.

We have a campaign designed and manned for Texas and it will begin at the end of summer.

In the meantime, what about . . . ?

H.R. 961 — The SAFE Act of 2019

There’s a big glimmer of hope. We are not giving up totally on this bill. Never were.

But we realized we just had to have a back up plan to a federal law being passed, because the nightmare of slaughter for our horses must come to a complete end.

We have a whole new strategy for H.R. 961 and pretty excited about it. We will post about it tomorrow. If you can’t wait until then, we have something up on our website now where you can begin taking action. If you are a subscriber, you already know and God willing working on it.

Pension Me Off

I want to retire but I can’t retire until I am thoroughly done with this — the issue that started it all for me 20 years ago with Texans for Horses — horse slaughter. Getting horse slaughter banned in the US would be a swell way to bow out.


Action Alert — H.R. 961, The Horse Fund »

H.R. 961 — 116th Congress (2019) — Cosponsors  »

U.S. Congress 2019 Session Calendars and Schedules (pdf), Resources »

Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline — 1998 to present, The Horse Fund (includes State and Federal) »

Died in Committee, Tuesday’s Horse »