The following article describes an approach to the treatment of horses presenting for veterinary medical care at an endurance ride. This outline is based on our experiences from the Western States 100 mile trail ride (Tevis Cup) for the 2005 and 2006 year as well as horses referred to our respective hospitals over the last five to 10 years from rides in the northern California area. We have been fortunate to work with a number of experienced veterinarians in this sport who have shared their insight and experience and we offer this article as a collective summary of this knowledge.
Endurance horses are pulled from rides and present for medical treatment for a variety of causes, but they are typically categorized as a metabolic or lameness problem. This article will focus on horses with metabolic problems. It describes a general approach to all of these horses and then adds specific notes for some of the more common conditions.
The treatment of endurance horses with metabolic problems can be summarized: To identify those horses with inadequate perfusion (oxygen delivery to muscle, intestine, etc.) and to restore it as quickly as possible.
[More: AERC Vet Newsletter #2]