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Preventing Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Horses with Robinul (glycopyrrolate)

Updated: Apr 8

Performance horses, whether they're racehorses, show jumpers, or rodeo stars, require peak physical condition to excel in their respective disciplines. One common issue they face is Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH), which can hinder their performance and long-term health. In this blog, we'll explore the use of Robinul (glycopyrrolate) as a promising solution to prevent and manage EIPH in performance horses.

Understanding EIPH

Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage is a condition in which horses experience bleeding in the small blood vessels of their lungs during intense physical exertion. The condition is often associated with racing and other strenuous equine activities. EIPH can have serious consequences, including impaired performance, respiratory distress, and long-term lung damage.

The Role of Robinul

Robinul, also known as glycopyrrolate, is a medication commonly used in human medicine to reduce excessive secretions in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. In recent years, it has gained attention within the equine community for its potential to prevent EIPH. Here's why Robinul is a promising option for performance horse owners:

  1. Reduces Airway Secretions: Robinul helps to reduce excessive secretions in the respiratory tract, which can contribute to the severity of EIPH. By minimizing these secretions, Robinul promotes easier breathing and minimizes the risk of bleeding in the lungs during exercise.

  2. Bronchodilation: Robinul has bronchodilatory effects, meaning it can help open up the airways, allowing horses to breathe more easily. This not only enhances their performance but also decreases the pressure on the pulmonary vessels, reducing the likelihood of bleeding.

  3. Proven Effectiveness: Several studies have shown promising results in using Robinul to prevent EIPH in horses. These studies demonstrate that Robinul can reduce the severity of bleeding during exercise, ultimately improving the horse's performance and overall well-being.

  4. Convenient Administration: Robinul is available in various forms, including injectable and oral formulations. This versatility allows for tailored treatment plans and easy administration by equine veterinarians.

  5. Compliance with Regulations: Robinul is a legal and permitted medication in many equestrian competitions and racing events. Its use is regulated, but when administered under the guidance of a veterinarian, it can help horses perform at their best while remaining within the rules.

Considerations and Precautions

It's crucial to understand that while Robinul has shown great potential in preventing EIPH, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Each horse is unique, and the administration of Robinul should be done under the guidance of a qualified veterinarian. Here are some considerations and precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Dosage and Timing: The dosage and timing of Robinul administration should be tailored to the individual horse's needs. Your veterinarian will consider factors such as the horse's age, weight, and exercise regimen.

  2. Potential Side Effects: Like any medication, Robinul may have potential side effects, including dry mouth and elevated heart rate. Your veterinarian will monitor your horse for any adverse reactions.

  3. Regulatory Compliance: Be aware of the rules and regulations in your specific discipline or competition. Robinul may be permitted, but always ensure compliance with anti-doping regulations.


EIPH is a significant concern for performance horse owners, and the use of Robinul (glycopyrrolate) presents a viable and effective option for prevention. When administered under the guidance of a qualified veterinarian, Robinul can help reduce airway secretions, improve bronchodilation, and ultimately enhance a horse's performance while minimizing the risk of pulmonary hemorrhage. As with any medical intervention, it's essential to prioritize the well-being of your horse and adhere to all relevant regulations and guidelines. By doing so, you can ensure your performance horse remains in the best possible condition for success in its chosen discipline.

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