The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has been advised that some samples of a compounded version of n-butyl alcohol contain ethanol. The substance was not listed as an ingredient. On February 23, the ORC issued a Notice to the Industry reminding licensees of the CPMA testing of its official samples for ethanol effective February 13, 2012.

N-butyl alcohol is a pre-race bleeding medication. The patented form of the medication, known as Clotol®, contained 7 % n-butyl alcohol, and is no longer produced commercially in Canada. Generic versions of the drug are produced by independent compounders and a small pharmaceutical company. The main supplier to the industry has chosen to double the strength of the solution to 14% which adds inherent risks if not administered correctly.

According to ORC Official Veterinarian Dr. Adam Chambers, trainers – and veterinarians – should satisfy themselves of the true contents of anything administered to horses prior to racing. “You need to be vigilant with respect to all ingredients. Check the label and ask questions of those dispensing products.”

The ORC believes it is the responsibility of Ontario licensees to pay close attention and to read the label of ingredients when choosing products that are administered to horses.

Further, the racing community is reminded that a basic aspect of good medication control is ensuring that you only use products that are properly manufactured and clearly labeled, and that are administered by a licensed veterinarian or under the direction of one.

As well, under changes to the Rules of Racing introduced in January 2008, a trainer of a horse with a positive test will be considered to have absolute liability for the offence.

Trainers are therefore reminded that by being aware of the contents of products, they will be more likely to know if any ingredient will result in a positive test.