A new Horserace Betting Levy Board grant has been awarded to the Royal Veterinary College. The grant entitled "Putting racehorse respiratory disease research back on track" has been awarded to Dr Jackie Cardwell, Dr Carrie Roder, Dr Martin Whiting and Professor Ken Smith and Prof Laurent Couetil (Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine) and Dr Claire Wylie (Rossdales).
Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD) is a common form of respiratory disease in British Thoroughbred (TB) racehorses and an important cause of reduced performance and lost training days. Case definitions vary, but in British TBs IAD is usually defined by increased respiratory mucus, with or without evidence of inflammation in routine respiratory samples. However, published expert opinion on how IAD should be diagnosed recommends more invasive lung sampling and does not regard respiratory mucus as a reliable sign of lung inflammation. It is not known whether or to what degree British racing veterinarians are following these recommendations or how feasible it is for them to do so.
This study will use formal approaches to investigate the amount and strength of research evidence available to support these recommendations, as well as British veterinarians’ opinions, current practices and needs. Findings will ensure that future research can be appropriately tailored to British racing TBs.