The sport of horse racing has been around for thousands of years and with it has been the care of these beautiful animals who participate in these races. Horses are among the earliest animals that were domesticated by humans who have appreciated their companionship and loyalty ever since.
It only makes sense that these beautiful animals should be looked after with the utmost of care. This is why continuing medical technology has been applied to horses over the years to make sure they are as healthy and vigorous as can be when it comes to horse racing. Undoubtedly, medical technology has progressed by leaps and bounds over the years and with that we can better look after our equine friends in order to give them a happy and healthy life for the benefit of both humans and animals.
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Safety is the number one aspect of horse racing for both the horse and the jockey. Luckily, medical equipment that has been primarily used on humans is being implemented on horses to ensure their utmost health and safety. Technology such as X-rays and MRI scanners are used on both the horses and jockeys to determine if either has any preventable injuries that can be treated before they become a major problem.
The use of thermal imaging cameras has allowed veterinarians to gauge the body temperature of a horse after a race to measure if there are any issues and allow them to act accordingly if the horse is determined to be overheated, which can cause health issues in the long run.
NASA Equine Support Technology was initially developed as a derivative of a human version which was released in 2003. It is rehabilitative technology that helps these animals with hip and pelvis issues to help them walk again with full confidence. The technology is better than previous ways of treating injured horses, some of which have included having to hoist the horse upside-down during transportation after surgery while the horse is anaesthetised. This new technology keeps the horse on its feet and carries its weight so the horse does not feel so traumatised. This is important because after surgery a horse should be on its feet as soon as possible, as naturally as can be. This means that any horse running in the Victoria Derby 2022 that has any issues post-race can be well cared for.
Other recent medical technology includes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which gives the horse extra oxygen which permeates through its muscle tissue and promotes healing.
Platinum Performance, which was created by Dr. Doug Herthel in California in 1996, uses therapeutic nutrition at the cellular level to help horses with their digestion, hooves, and inflammation of the joints and tendons.
4Dx, which is an Australian biotech company, has created a breakthrough technology that helps evaluate lung problems in horses. The technology creates a 3-dimensional image of the horse’s lungs as they inflate and deflate. This can provide necessary information about the overall health of the lungs of the horse and can potentially detect any upcoming or ongoing issues such as equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis and other life-threatening ailments.
It is good to see that there are people and companies that are taking the time to care for horses who, by and large, have a good demeanour and a great relationship with humans. If we provide them with the care they need, they can live long and happy lives well after they have finished their racing career.