EquiTrace Withdrawal Survey

EquiTrace Withdrawal Survey


Getting the withdrawal time for medication for competition or race-horses correct was a constant source of stress to me in practise. I was lucky, I had a double boarded medicine specialist as a husband so my phone a friend was pretty good, but not every-one has that resource. It turns out I was not alone in finding this a worrying subject. In a recent survey that EquiTrace carried out 100% of equine veterinarians surveyed feel they do not get taught enough about withdrawal times. 86% of veterinarians surveyed reported feeling significant stress over getting withdrawal times right. Only one respondent to our survey felt “very familiar” with withdrawal times for major competition authorities, most only felt “somewhat familiar”. It is notable that the one person who was “very familiar” still managed to under-estimate the withdrawal time of flunixin meglumine by 6 days. Veterinarians also reported that they felt unsure where to source the information on this matter. In our survey we asked the following questions deliberately choosing common products that veterinarians use regularly :


  1. What competition withdrawal time would you recommend for 10 mg/ml triamcinolone (IA) 1ml into 1 fetlock once under FEI regulations, to be safe?


  1. What withdrawal time would you recommend for 10 mg/ml triamcinolone (IA) 1ml into one lateral femoro-tibial joint once under FEI regulations, to be safe?


  1. How long would you advise an FEI client not to compete their healthy horse after giving 10ml of 50mg/ml Flunixin IV?


  1. For the horse in Q5, if you have to give a second dose of Flunixin 12 hours later, what is your recommendation for withdrawal time?

For the first question, only 26% of respondents got the correct answer, 10 days. Fortunately, most over-estimated the answer, with 60% thinking 21 days. However, when a similar question was asked for the stifle joint, only 8% got the answer correct (17 days), 43% played it safe going for 21 days but 43% underestimated, with some thinking it could be as short as 5 days.

Many veterinarians do not appreciate the dynamic nature of withdrawal times. The route delivered, the number of doses, the joint medicated all have a major impact on withdrawal times. You can’t just pick a number out of a book. Flunixin meglumine is a commonly used drug in equine practice. An effective analgesic it can be used for animals with colic and a second dose is often necessary. Only 4% got the correct time for one dose of flunixin under FEI rules (9 days) and only 9% knew that a second dose adds an additional two days to the withdrawal time. Clearly there is stress and confusion around medication withdrawal times. When asked where to find times that they were unfamiliar with the most popular answer was to ask a colleague. Only 30% were confident enough to be able to calculate the time and when you look at the mathematics required it is not surprising that most veterinarians are not comfortable with this.

In the current times with racing and horse sport in general under the spotlight veterinarians cannot afford to make mistakes. 51% of referrals for a positive drugs test to the British horse racing authority or Irish horse racing regulatory board were due to too short a withdrawal time after legitimate medical treatment. The EquiTrace medication module is designed to remove this stress and give veterinarians access to the information they need at the side of the horse, before anything is administered. The algorithm takes into account repeated doses, route administered and is programmed with the rules for EquiTrace includes suggested withdrawal times for:

  • European racing rules,
  • UK racing rules,
  • Nordic racing,
  • USA Thoroughbred racing,
  • USA Standardbred racing,
  • Quarter horse racing,
  • Australian racing,
  • Competition under FEI, AQHA and USEF rules

Now smart veterinarians have a smart tool to protect themselves and their clients from serious errors. Download a copy today[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]