Epistaxis related to exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage in South African Thoroughbreds
This study investigated if environmental factors had an effect on the incidence of epistaxis related to exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH) among racehorses in southern Africa. Data covering the period 1986-2001 and involving 778 532 race runs were analysed. This included the following information: date of race, age, sex, name of breeder, trainer, distance, jockey, state of going, weight carried, racing centre and altitude. Veterinarians employed by the Jockey Club suspended officially entered horses that presented with epistaxis (frank bleeding from the nostrils) after racing. On-course endoscopy is not performed as a standard practice at any southern African racetrack. Epistaxis was identified in 1287 horses (0.165 %). More horses presented with EIPH-related epistaxis (a) at sea level, (b) from May to October, (c) when older (>3 years), (d) after 1995, (e) on Fridays and Sundays, and (f) more in geldings than in mares or entire males. No association could be established between epistaxis and breeder, trainer, distance run, jockey, state of going and weight carried. It is concluded that the frequency of EIPH-related epistaxis is associated with altitude, winter and spring, sex and age. It is suggested that racing at lower altitudes may increase the probability of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage.