AAEP sets new clinical guidelines for racehorse care


New clinical guidelines have been developed for the care of racehorses by the AAEP.

Lexington, Ky.

-- New clinical guidelines have been developed for the care of racehorses, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) hopes the changes will promote medical care of the horses above other concerns.

The report, titled "Clinical Guidelines for Veterinarians Practicing in a Pari-Mutuel Environment," centers on medical practices AAEP believes stress the “appropriate emphasis on the health, safety and welfare of the racehorse.”

"Our purpose is to reinforce sound medical principles within the unique environment of racing," says AAEP President Dr. Nat White. "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 medial care provided by many veterinarians."

The guidelines focus on the administration of medication to a horse based on the entry date of its next race. "Entry date should not be the primary factor when evaluating a horse's need for medical care," AAEP notes. Medical care instead should be based on a veterinary diagnosis while also considering the amount of time necessary for treatment and recovery time before the horse can race again.

The use of therapies, medical record maintenance and billing based on professional services rendered rather than on medications dispensed are additional topics covered in the new guidelines.

Developed by the AAEP Racing Committee, comprised of private racetrack veterinarians, regulatory veterinarians and veterinary specialists, the guidelines can be found at aaep.org.

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