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Ask Dr. Dan M. Your Own Question
Dr. Dan M.
Dr. Dan M., Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  Equine Veterinary Surgeon
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Have a Thoroughbred Mare which on Race day, will start

Customer Question

Have a Thoroughbred Mare which on Race day, will start sweating and shaking, even on her Home track.
When travelling and after reaching her destination, there will be a pool of sweat on the floor of the truck.
We often have to hose her down more than once prior to racing and she will continue to shake.
She is now a 6 year old and has won several races, but we feel this behaviour must be taking it out of her.
Is there anything you can suggest?
***** *****cox
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry your horse is struggling. It is no doubt a worry and certainly given that it is a new development, I would get her checked by your vet.

There are a few things which could cause such behaviour. Cardiovascular disease could be a cause so your vet should thoroughly listen to her heart and lungs and measure the recovery rate of the heart following exercise. A full clinical examination will also reveal if there is any infection present that may be affecting metabolism and performance.

Sweating can also be seen in exertional rhabdomyolysis and this can be serious so your vet can take some blood and look for signs of muscle cell breakdown. It is important that after such sweating she is rehydrated and an electrolyte solution could be given to replace vital salts that may have been lost through sweating.

Good luck


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi DanThank you for your answer, however you may have misunderstood. This is not a new problem but has been happening for the last 2-3 years. In that time she has won races, the latest being last Wednesday at Matamata.
Its just that we believe it must be "taking it out of her" and it seems to us that its an anxiety problem. No trouble with normal track work, i.e. no sweating and shaking, but as soon as raceday routine starts, she knows and will start the sweating and shaking.
Can you suggest anything (that won't return a positive) that may helpThanks***** *****cox
Expert:  Dr. Dan M. replied 1 year ago.


Apologies for the misinterpretation.

Having worked over in New Zealand with racehorses, we would often give a pre-race cocktail of various vitamins and minerals to help with hydration and muscle work, I always added in Kynoselen. I cannot comment on its current legal classification regarding racing.

If anxiety is a definite issue, then there are some products which are general calming agents for anxious horses and I am sure they wouldn't cause any issues on testing, products containing L-tryptophan, passiflora incanata, L-theanine. Again, you would need to check these individual ingredients in case they were banned/controlled substances for competition horses.