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Answer Exchange

  • Q:

    Would omega-3s help prevent a racehorse from bleeding when he breezes? Would EO•3 be appropriate?

  • A:

    Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in EO•3, support respiratory health. Airway inflammation has been associated with increased incidence and severity of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), also known as bleeding. Omega-3 supplementation is thought to help reduce EIPH due to its anti-inflammatory properties, which lead to a reduction in airway inflammation. Omega-3 supplementation is not a treatment for EIPH, but it is considered a beneficial nutritional therapy for these horses.

    Essential fatty acids are important components of cell membranes, and it has been hypothesized that improved red blood cell elasticity may play a role in reducing EIPH. Further research has supported supplementation with both DHA and EPA due to improved red blood cell membrane fluidity (elasticity) and reduction in EIPH during the study period.

    I recommend supplementing EO•3 at the recommended amount and allowing at least three months before assessing the impact of supplementation on the horse’s condition. Is this horse treated with Lasix? If so, it is important to ensure adequate electrolyte supplementation is provided. KER has developed two advanced electrolyte products for high-performance horses, Race Recovery and Restore SR. Horsemen in Australia should look for Restore and Restore Paste.

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