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Questions about a bleeder.
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Reg. Apr 2010
Posted 2019-06-03 12:47 PM (#7430428)
Subject: Questions about a bleeder.

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 477
Location: Lost in the swamps

Questions about bleeders

ive owned my gelding for 7 years now and have off and on ran. Always have given him a few weeks to get back in shape. He isn’t nearly as in shape as I feel he should be, round is a shape right?? Well life happens and it was very humid south Louisiana and last week and he bled. I only give Clem 3 days out,and at a low dosage just to help open him up. I also use AirPower when I ride. I know a little bit about them as I have worked at a clinic before but no personal experience becuse I’ve never had one run hard enough to bleed. The bleed was just a few streaks of red in his snot, not a blood bath, but to me any blood is cause for concern. He does have inflammatory airway disease which has been well controlled thru meds (Clem syrup oral and nebulized dex which I usually start in mid summer) and environment control. After the bleed he received 5 days of smz’s and I nebulized him the same day and the next 3 with just silver. 

questions going forward:

1) how soon can I get back on and begin to condition him better?         Obviously going to take it easy and build up...  

2) what are your exercise regemines?

3) should I just assume he is a bleeder and lasix? I’ve had one vet say give 3cc Iv  2-3 hours out. I’ve had another say give 1cc or none since it wasn’t a bad bleed and just  pull water that morning? 

4) what are your tips on helping a horse like this? He is a heavy drinker. Loves water. I’ve had blood pulled on him twice becuse I was concerned he was drinking soo much. Lol. He was fine.. 


Any info would be appreciatve! TIA! 

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Reg. Sep 2006
Posted 2019-06-03 2:52 PM (#7430439 - in reply to #7430428)
Subject: RE: Questions about a bleeder.


Posts: 268

I had a wicked mare who was a bad bleeder and rodeoed her successfully for about a decade before selling her. Bleeding will happen if the conditions are right: humid, hot, out of shape, too hard, too deep etc. Some things that really helped me with my mare was to choose where and when I ran. If was ungodly hot and humid, I ran my back up horse. It was real hard ground, I switched horses, my mare seemed to bleed worse on hard ground, I am assuming because the percussion where so hard. I made sure that I got her in amazing shape. I worked her up to breezing before I ever entered her. My vet always had me do 5cc of Lasix 3 hours out and pull water. I used Flair strips and made sure to warm up and cool down properly. After I ran, I gave her fresh water and electrolytes. I also used Bleeder Stop by Oxygen and that seemed to help. That Equipulnim was not out when I owned my mare, but if I had a bleeder, I would give that a try! I always kept some vitamin K and antibiotics on hand as well. When my mare would bleed out, I will give her those (Vit K right away to help clot the blood, and antibiotics for a few days to prevent a respiratory infection) and a week off to heal. Also, another thing that I noticed seem to help my mare was to get her outside…she always bled through Lasix if I had to stall her and there was any pneumonia in the barn.


A note to add….I sold my mare 5 six years ago, so there may be other new gimics to help bleeders out there, I am just naive to them!

Edited by Rausch_Jessica 2019-06-03 3:22 PM
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Reg. Jun 2011
Posted 2019-06-06 3:57 PM (#7430721 - in reply to #7430428)
Subject: RE: Questions about a bleeder.

Elite Veteran

Posts: 759
Location: Somewhere here in Wisconsin!

I ran a nasty bleeder..... his first time bleeding he was no joke blowing blood chuncks the size of soda cans... :( I had to give him 30 days off with SMZ's for a few weeks. I ran him on 5cc of lasix starting out (I retired him when he started to bleed through that). But he was on 5cc lasix 2 hours before run. Also I used airpower before EACH run. I kept him on EquipPride and the BIGGEST thing was I kept him on KC & Hesperidin bleeder supplement. I double dosed the week of shows. (I am not a dealer for any of this. Just a horse lover who used it and saw results).

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Reg. Nov 2008
Posted 2019-06-08 10:13 PM (#7430823 - in reply to #7430428)
Subject: RE: Questions about a bleeder.

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 337
Location: NE TX

Forgive me but I am going to be jumping around... ADD BRAIN!!!

When they bleed it's always a good idea to get them scoped to see if they have developed an upper airway infection. The 5 days of SMZ should help, but I may have skipped if you said you did or did not do a scope. If I did I apologize.  In my experience it is easier to get ahead of any possible infection than to treat one afterwards. My mare is not a blow everyone out of the water and is more of a 4D girl but I still try my best to keep her feeling her best. My vet typically recommends two weeks off when mine bleeds. The first time she bled before I knew she was a bleeder his scope went SWIMMING two days later in the blood still in there and he had me give her a month off. That was HARD to see. I felt like a horrible mom.

Yes, I am a round girl, but round on a horse can be hard. I like my horses to be fat and happy but bleeders also have to be in shape. Being in the south is always hard in the summer for bleeders with the heat and then the humidity of TX, LA, and other gulf states we have it harder IMHO. Having them in tip top shape helps a ton. I give my mare 2 days off after a race then I ride or lunge her 3-5 times a week for 45 minutes. If I only ride/lunge 3 times this time of year I try to do laps around the edge of our pond to keep her muscle toned. I start with 5 minutes of walking, 10 minutes trotting each direction, 6 minutes loping each direction, cool down either in the pond if it's warmer or if it's too cold in the arena. It's a lot and it gets boring so I also try to take her for a trail ride at least once a week to keep her from getting TOO bored in the arena. 

Talk to your vet and see if he/she think running your guy on lasix (even a small dose) will be beneficial for him especially since he already has the airway issue to start with. Pulling water for the whole day is hard on one especially since that means a typical barrel race, pull water in AM, haul to race, stand tied (right now in 100+ degree heat index) for hours, tack up, warm up, run, come back to the trailer and then get water. That is hard. I hate that I have to pull water for 2 hours let alone all day in this heat and humidity we have. 

Every horse is different and requires different amounts of lasix. I started my mare with 5cc of lasix IV 2 hours out and she bled through it. I started her on Race Today by Vetline Equine and they say you can come completely off lasix but I am scared to with her history and I am now giving 3cc IM 2 hours out. When I give lasix I pull water and since I am pulling water away and the lasix is pulling water out, I pull hay at the same time to prevent impaction. I also give Wind Aide, EquiSure, and Equilytes when I give lasix. To help her airway, stomach, and give electrolytes. I do use a Flair Strip and it does help tremendously especially with after run recovery time!


Sorry for the novel, I have learned in the 3 years I've had one what works for us. It seems like a lot some days but others doesn't seem too bad. Good luck to your and your guy!

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Reg. Mar 2010
Posted 2019-06-11 2:15 PM (#7431022 - in reply to #7430428)
Subject: RE: Questions about a bleeder.


Posts: 1601
Location: Cocoa, Florida

I’ve had two really bad bleeders, both I’ve been able to take off of lasix with the right supplements and the right exercise program.  

I have a non sweater and I live in FL so I won’t give him lasix and dehydrate him.  I started exercising him like a racehorse and getting him in super good shape.  I also put him on Vetline Equine Race Today  daily supplement and I give him spring time performance paste before and after runs, everything in these products have helped prevent him from bleeding and I have scoped after runs for proof.  

I think lasix is a quick fix and once they bleed through that you may as well hang up the halter for good.  It is also very hard on their kidneys.  

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