The medication violations in racehorses at Louisiana racetracks from 2016 to 2020

Document Type


Publication Date



INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND: The number of publications for most common drug violations in racehorses is limited. This study reports the most common medication violations in racehorses at four major racetracks in Louisiana between 2016 and 2020. METHODS: During this 5-year period, 27,237 blood samples and 25,672 urine samples collected during the course of normal race meeting activities were analysed by initial screening procedure utilizing Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Following initial screening, suspect samples were subject to quantitative or semi- quantitative confirmation analysis by LC-MS/MS. RESULTS: The total number of violations reported was 534 (1.01% of the total number of specimens analysed). The total number of violations reported in Thoroughbred horses was 210 while the total number of violations reported in Quarter Horses was 324. The percentage of total violations was %0.59 for all the specimens analysed in Thoroughbred horses while this percentage was %1.9 for all the specimens analysed in Quarter Horses during this 5-year period. The most frequent violations included the overages (concentrations of permitted medications equal to or exceeding the set threshold) of clenbuterol (165 violations), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone (73 violations), combination of phenylbutazone with flunixin (45 violations) and muscle relaxant methocarbamol (40 violations). DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The total number of violations were relatively low during 5-year period, but wide varieties of medications with different pharmacological actions were confirmed in performance horses in Louisiana. The most frequently reported violations in Louisiana were for permitted therapeutic medications (clenbuterol, phenylbutazone, flunixin methocarbamol) with established threshold and/or withdrawal guidelines in racehorses.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Veterinary medicine and science

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.