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Easy-application self-adhesive strips help open a horse’s airways and ease airflow through the nasal packages. Shown to reduce airway resistance during exercise.
Flair Strips help prevent fatigue related injuries
Protect the lungs from injury, reduce the risk of EIPH (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage)
Promote optimal athletic performance

When horses breathe hard during exercise, the soft tissue over the nasal passage is sucked in, reducing airway diameter and restricting airflow. The spring-like action in FLAIR Strips gently support the nasal passages to reduce soft tissue
collapse and make breathing easier.

FLAIR Strips don't help horses breathe in more air. The Strips help horses take in the same amount of air but with less work. For example, think about the difference you feel when breathing through a stuffy nose vs. when your nose is clear.
When your nose is stuffy, the nasal passages are narrower, making it more difficult to breathe.  

Breathing easier helps horses at all levels of fitness and skill maintain respiratory health and optimum performance. Many riders also report that horses wearing FLAIR Strips are more relaxed and focused.


Unlike humans, horses can only breathe through their nose. As obligate nasal breathers, during intensive exercise, horses can only breathe through their nose, not their mouth. All the oxygen horses need for exercise can only come through
the nasal passages (the narrowest part of the upper airway) and a significant portion is unsupported by bone or cartilage. This unsupported portion of the nasal passage collapses inward when breathing in during exercise, which reduces the
size of the airway and greatly increases resistance to air flow. This is significant because during exercise over 50% of resistance to air flow to the lungs comes from the nasal passages. Some studies suggest as much as 80% resistance to air
flow. Additionally, pathological upper airway conditions (roaring, gurgling, nasal flutter, alar fold collapse) and functional obstructions (significant poll flexion) increases the work of breathing and makes it more difficult to move air into the lungs.

FLAIR Strips provide a spring-like force that gently supports the nasal passages and reduces soft tissue collapse that causes narrowing of the airways during exercise. The Strips support the nasal passages including the nasal valve, which is
the narrowest part of the nasal passages, to make breathing easier.


FLAIR Strips can impact stride efficiency due in part to the horse’s unique synchronization or “coupling” of stride and breathing at a gallop. At a walk and trot, a horse’s respiratory rate is unrelated to its stride rate. During canter and gallop,
the horse’s stride and breathing are linked - a horse takes one breath for each stride.

As shown in the illustration below, inhalation (red arrows pointing to air moving into the nose) occurs when the front legs are non-weight bearing and exhalation occurs when the front limbs are weight bearing (blue arrows pointing to air exiting
the nose).

A simple way to think about the link between breathing and stride is to think of a galloping horse as a large bellows. As the front legs are in the non-weight bearing or “flight” phase (1-5 in the above illustration), air is being pulled into the
lungs like air moving into a bellows. Once the lead front leg contacts the ground, the front legs are in the weight bearing phase (6-10 in the above illustration) and air is pushed out of the lungs.

At speeds beyond a hand gallop, a horse increases its speed by increasing stride length, not by moving its legs faster. When a horse lengthens its stride to increase speed, it also takes deeper and longer breaths, providing the lungs with
more air. A horse struggling to move air in and out of the lungs may fatigue more quickly or shorten its stride to compensate for the increased work of breathing in.

FLAIR Strips can impact stride efficiency by reducing resistance through the nasal passages to help make stride lengthening and adjusting easier.


Fatigue is any tiredness and decrease in athletic performance that occurs during both high intensity exercise for short periods of time and lower intensity exercise over prolonged periods of time. When a horse is fatigued, he typically has the
inability to continue exercise at a given level of intensity. Generally, the more intense the exercise, the earlier the onset of fatigue.

Much of our knowledge of fatigue in animals comes from horses because they can be readily trained to exercise on high-speed treadmills; allowing for controlled investigation of respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic responses. When
fatigue occurs, changes in the horse’s gait, joint movements, muscular support, and willingness to perform can be seen. These changes are believed to be important factors contributing to structural fatigue injuries of the musculoskeletal
system of performance horses. Structural fatigue injuries include pulled suspensory and other ligaments, bowed tendons and fractured bones.

Generally, exercise at a horse's highest attainable speed can't be maintained for more than 30-40 seconds. After that, fatigue sets in and the horse slows down. However, the cause of fatigue during exercise isn't the same for all horses or all
events. For example, endurance horses competing over many hours or days experience fatigue, but the underlying mechanisms for fatigue is different than horses racing at maximal speeds lasting 3 minutes or less.

According to Dr. David Marlin, the use of the word “fatigue” in relation to exercise has very specific meanings and covers a wide range of manifestations including:

The horse that will not move another step
The endurance horse at the end of a 100 mile race that is reluctant to trot
The racehorse that has slowed in the last eighth of a mile of a race, but when passing the post is still travelling in excess of 35 miles per hour
The event horse on cross-country that slows down from a fast gallop pace, but when given a few strides at a slightly slower pace, is able to return to the original faster pace


Horses wearing FLAIR® Strips have been shown to use 5-6% less energy when bringing air in during intensive exercise.

Early research on horses exercising on treadmills showed that horses using FLAIR Strips used 5-6% less oxygen and produced less carbon dioxide than when doing the same amount of work without a FLAIR Strip. Using less oxygen means
the horse consumed less energy. It's believed that by reducing resistance to airflow (allowing horses to breathe easier), the work required of the respiratory muscles like the diaphragm during exercise is reduced, which reduces the energy
required for breathing. It was theorized that by reducing energy consumption, fatigue would be delayed since this energy would now be available to the exercising muscles. Subsequent studies have now shown that FLAIR Strips delay the
onset of time to fatigue in exercising horses.

The energy conserved by wearing a FLAIR Strip is available to sustain performance longer and potentially reduce the chance of fatigue related injuries.

The Strips are also beneficial during shorter duration, sprint exercises (1/4 mile races or barrel runs), where 60% of energy is generated by anaerobic metabolism and 40% of the energy is generated via aerobic pathways that require
oxygen. However, at races over 5 furlongs (1000 meters) over 70% of energy is generated via aerobic pathways and at a mile (1600 meters), 80% of energy is generated via aerobic pathways. During longer distances even more energy is
generated using aerobic pathways, making efficient oxygen intake even more important.

Oxygen is also very important in the recovery phase following intensive exercise to rebuild energy stores consumed during exercise. The benefits that FLAIR Strips provide for efficient oxygen intake during intensive exercise continues
through the recovery phase to continue providing efficient oxygen intake to rebuild energy stores. This is one more reason why it's important to not remove the Strip until the horse is fully cooled out and breathing has returned to normal.

One of the major causes of fatigue is the depletion of energy stores needed for the horse to perform. During less intense, longer duration exercise, FLAIR Strips help horses get needed oxygen more efficiently to sustain aerobic exercise.  


Fatigue can result from the failure of one enzyme system, one cell, one organ or one body system, but is more often due to multiple factors contributing simultaneously. This can place an excessive burden on other body systems as they try
to compensate. In many ways, fatigue is still poorly understood. However, it's generally accepted that no single mechanism explains all the different aspects of fatigue that are recognized. For example, a dramatic reduction of muscle glycogen
can play a significant role in fatigue at the end of an endurance ride. But, fatigue also occurs when muscle glycogen concentrations are still high, for example in a show-jumper after completing its round.

Factors unrelated to the intensity, duration or pattern of exercise influence the onset of fatigue, including: Metabolic myopathies (tying up and polysaccharide storage myopathy), over-training, fitness, age, body condition and environmental
conditions (temperature, humidity, pollution or altitude).

Numerous areas have been studied to try and understand the mechanisms of fatigue during exercise including:

Depletion of the energy generating systems inside and outside muscle cells
Accumulation of metabolic by-products (i.e. lactic acid, ammonia, H+ ions, and ATP metabolites) and failure of the muscular contractile mechanism
Disturbances to acid-base, electrolyte, hydration, and thermoregulatory homeostasis
Central and peripheral nervous system fatigue


The depletion of energy is one of the major causes of fatigue. In the body, the fundamental source of energy at the cellular level is a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP supports almost all cellular-based active processes,
including muscle contraction, by breaking down ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). However, the amount of ATP stored in the muscles is low and will only support exercise for several seconds of muscular activity. When ATP is broken
down to ADP it must be regenerated back to ATP.

There are four different ways to regenerate ATP from ADP:

ATP Replenishment from Other High Energy Phosphate Molecules in the Cells
This process doesn't require oxygen and is often referred to as anaerobic energy production.
ATP Replenishment from Glycogen Breakdown to Lactic Acid
This form of energy replenishment is also anaerobic (without using oxygen). It's the rapid breakdown of intramuscular energy stores of glycogen to lactic acid. Accumulation of lactic acid, hydrogen ions and ATP metabolites within muscles,
and the resulting reduction is muscle pH and significantly increased potassium in the blood, which is believed to play a role in the development of fatigue.
ATP Replenishment from Aerobic Metabolism of Muscle Glycogen or Blood Glucose
The complete aerobic breakdown of glycogen or blood glucose to carbon dioxide and water requires oxygen and occurs mainly in the mitochondria of the cells. It's within the mitochondria that the oxygen is used and the majority of ATP is
regenerated. This process is much more efficient at regenerating ATP from ADP, but is slower than the anaerobic pathways described above. Around 90% of the total body stores of glycogen are stored within the muscles, with most of the
remainder being stored in the liver.
ATP Replenishment from Aerobic Metabolism of Fat
The aerobic metabolism of triglycerides (fat) to regenerate ATP requires oxygen and takes place primarily within mitochondria. It also generates carbon dioxide and water as the end products. In contrast to glycogen, triglycerides stored in the
muscle account for only around 10% of the total body stores, with the remainder being found in adipose tissue and subcutaneous fat depots. Triglycerides are broken down using oxygen to liberate free fatty acids (FFAs), which are
transported in the blood to be taken up by working muscles.

While it's possible to deplete muscle glycogen stores, it's almost impossible to deplete stores of fat in a single bout of exercise. Repletion of muscle and liver glycogen in horses may take 24-72 hours. Depletion of brain glycogen has also
been shown to occur in association with prolonged exercise, which has been suggested to be involved in central fatigue.


Managing your horse's recovery after training or competing can have a big impact on how your horse will perform, especially if you're at a competition where he has to run several times on the same day or competes over several days.
Effectively managing your horse's recovery can help the horse mentally cope with training and competition and shorten the time period until he is ready to compete again. A prolonged and uncomfortable recovery could have a long-term
effect on his behavior and willingness to train or compete.

Leaving a FLAIR® Strip on until the horse completely cools down allows the horse to move air more easily, which helps the horse use less energy, cool out more quickly, feel more comfortable, and have the heart rate come down faster.  


Horses that finish competing or a long training session recover in three phases:

Cool-Down: Care immediately after exercise that helps a horse’s body temperature, breathing and heart rate get back to normal. This phase is relatively short and is the time from finishing exercise to being back in the stable.
Rest: A slow rest period over the next 24 hours that helps a horse’s body heal after heavy exertion.
Recovery: A period of days or weeks until the horse is fully back to where he was before competing.

FLAIR Strips particularly provide benefits during "Cool-Down," the initial phase of recovery.


How a horse behaves and how his body responds during the crucial first phase of recovery primarily depends on the intensity of the work and how hot he is. When in a canter or gallop, the horse's breathing and stride were locked - the
breathing rate was the same as the stride rate. When the horse breaks from canter, breathing becomes dissociated from stride and is often slower and deeper (perhaps 60-80 breaths per minute) than during work. Unlike when galloping, the
entire rib cage will move. This deep breathing is commonly referred to as “blowing.”

It's often suggested that blowing is caused by low arterial blood oxygen and/or high blood carbon dioxide. While oxygen and carbon dioxide do affect breathing, body temperature primarily controls blowing after exercise. Although a horse's
oxygen may be low and carbon dioxide high during exercise, as soon as the horse begins to slow down, the oxygen rapidly increases and the carbon dioxide rapidly falls. Body temperature takes longer to go down so blowing persists to help
the horse to continue to cool down.

Along with blowing, there will be other signs that the horse is hot, such as sweating and feeling hot to the touch. While evaporation of sweat helps dissipate heat, the loss of heat by evaporation of moisture in exhaled breath is also an
important contributor. Moving air in and out of the lungs while blowing consumes a lot of energy. At this point, you may notice that the soft tissue over the nasal passages gets sucked inwards, narrowing the nasal passages and increasing
airflow resistance, so that more energy is needed for breathing.

The spring-like action in FLAIR Strips opens the soft tissues over the nasal passages to improve recovery and help horses breathe easier.


Lung bleeding, also known as Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH), is a silent injury that can go undetected by trainers and riders because it occurs deep within the lungs. EIPH occurs when fragile pulmonary blood vessels in the
lungs rupture during exercise. This lung bleeding is best detected by lung washes or endoscopic examination. During the scoping, a long thin tube with a camera on the end is passed through the horse to view the upper airway and trachea.
Blood in the lungs and lower airways has been shown to be an irritant that leads to further bleeding.

Numerous studies show that essentially all exercising horses experience some degree of EIPH during intensive exercise. Only 5% of horses show blood at the nostrils.  

FLAIR® Strips are proven to reduce resistance to breathing so less stress is put on the pulmonary blood vessels, which helps them from rupturing. Even if a horse doesn’t compete with FLAIR Strips, using them in training will limit the damage
occurring to the lungs so that the horse is in the best condition possible for competing.


It's common for many low and intermediate level bleeders to show no symptoms of lung bleeding; however symptoms include:

Poor Performance
Extended Cooling-Out
Frequent Swallowing

There's potential for more damage if a horse:

Gallops Fast and Often
Works on Extreme Foots (very hard or soft surfaces)
Carries More Weight (the more weight, the worse the bleeding)

Each incidence of EIPH contributes to scar tissue formation within the lungs and potentially future bleeding episodes. The lung damage from repeated episodes of EIPH can shorten a horse's competitive career.


Horses don't have to gallop to bleed. Research in Japan shows that horses only cantering at speeds of up to 20 mph (a very slow canter for a racehorse) all had damage to their lungs as a result of broken blood vessels. Some studies report
that horses bleed even when doing mild exercise such as trotting on a treadmill.

Each time a horse does more than a slow canter, some blood vessels in the lung are broken. At first, this damage only affects a small area at the top back part of the lung; but, with repeated cantering, galloping and racing, the damage
accumulates and affects more of the lung. The severity and frequency of bleeding observed by scoping after exercise or racing almost always increases with age.  

Scar tissue forms in the lungs each time bleeding occurs. The blood vessels that break in the lung are almost always the blood vessels of the pulmonary circulation. When the vessels rupture, they may become blocked or not function
normally. If the vessels are repaired, they may become stiff since scar tissue is not as flexible as normal healthy lung tissue. Damaged lung tissue, even if it is repaired, doesn’t function as well, leaving the horse’s lung capacity and function

The lung is a limiting factor for performance in horses; so, even small losses of lung function can have significant, unfavorable effects on performance and shorten a horse's competitive career.

Reducing bleeding not only helps a horse perform better in the short term, but may also help long term by reducing the possibility of inflammatory airway disease and chronic lung damage due to repeated bleeding episodes.


During intense exercise, a horse breathes more than 500 gallons of air into its lungs every minute.

Two major things happen when a horse begins to exercise:

The horse’s respiratory ventilation increases to bring more air into the lungs and to remove carbon dioxide.
More red blood cells are added from the spleen to the circulatory system to help carry the oxygen from the lungs to the heart, muscle and other organs that need more oxygen during exercise.

During inspiration, the horse's stride and the diaphragm create a strong vacuum or negative pressure. This brings the air through the nasal passages into the alveoli (air sacs) deep in the lungs where oxygen is transferred from the lungs into
the blood through small blood vessels known as pulmonary capillaries.

The strong negative pressure necessary to inhale this amount of air (500 gallons per minute) creates a strong suction force on the alveoli. The alveoli are separated from the small blood vessels in the lungs (pulmonary capillaries) by a thin
membrane called the pulmonary capillary membrane. This thin, fragile membrane is very efficient at transporting oxygen and removing waste gases and carbon dioxide between the alveoli and pulmonary capillaries because it is only about
1/100th the thickness of a human hair.

In addition to the strong negative pressure on the alveoli side of the pulmonary capillary membrane, there’s a strong positive pressure on the other side due to significantly increased blood pressure in the pulmonary capillaries. This
increased blood pressure is due to an increased number of red blood cells and increased cardiac output. To increase the blood's oxygen carrying capacity, the number of red blood cells available is increased because the spleen contracts
and releases its reservoir of red blood cells into the bloodstream.

Warm-ups are important because they help ensure that more red blood cells are available during competition.

Increased cardiac output is achieve in part through dramatic increases in heart rate. During intense exercise, a horse’s heart rate can increase to over 220 beats per minute (bpm) to circulate more than 75 gallons of blood through the lungs.
Overall, these forces quadruple the blood pressure within the lungs from its resting pressure. This means there's a high positive pressure within the pulmonary capillaries within the lungs from its resting pressure.

During exercise, when these opposing forces are applied across the fragile pulmonary capillary membrane, the membrane can rupture and spill blood out of the blood vessels into the alveoli, causing Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage.

Conditions like inflammatory airway disease, bronchitis and other inflammatory or infectious conditions can cause the pulmonary capillary membrane to become more fragile, increasing the likelihood of bleeding.


Upper airway structures including the nasal passages, larynx and trachea cause resistance to air moving into the lungs. The greatest resistance during exercise occurs in the nose. More than 50% of the resistance to breathing air into the
horse’s lungs occurs in the nasal passages.

FLAIR Strips gently support the nasal passage to reduce soft tissue collapse caused by the narrowing of airways during exercise and make it easier for horse's to pull air through the nose during exercise. Because resistance is reduced, the
strong negative pressure on the alveoli side is reduced which helps reduce the pressure difference so the pulmonary capillary membrane is less likely to rupture.

Several independent clinical studies have proven that by reducing nasal passage resistance, FLAIR Strips reduce pulmonary capillary ruptures and bleeding.


While nothing has been shown to stop bleeding, two things have been proven to reduce bleeding:

FLAIR Strips
FLAIR Strips are drug-free and have been proven to be as effective as Lasix in reducing lung bleeding during high intensity exercise. The Strips reduce bleeding by normalizing pressure across the pulmonary capillary membrane. Studies
have shown that horses affected by EIPH that wear a FLAIR Strip have fewer blood cells in their airways after exercise, compared to the same horses not wearing a Strip. The FLAIR Strip is a mechanical device, so it will be equally as
effective every time it's used and can be used with every hard workout.

Drug Furosemide (Salix, formerly Lasix)
The drug is a potent diuretic that reduces blood volume and pulmonary vascular pressures – it does not normalize airflow. Furosemide reduces blood volume by increasing urine production, which consequently reduces fluid in the tissues
and organs of the body. Side effects include dehydration, weight loss and electrolyte loss, particularly potassium. The drug has been shown to reduce EIPH. However, a recent study has shown that the diuretic effect is reduced upon repeat
administration. Further studies are needed to determine whether furosemide’s efficacy in reducing EIPH is diminished upon repeated use.


Horses can only breathe through their nose. During exercise, it becomes twice as difficult for horses to move air into the lungs, with 50% of the total resistance in the upper airway originating in the nasal passages.
One Breath = One Stride. At a canter and gallop, horses take one breath perfectly in time with one stride. This is referred to as respiratory-locomotory coupling. Anything that affects the horse’s breathing has the potential to shorten its stride.
The amount of air moved in and out of the lungs increases in direct proportion to how fast the horse is running. If a horse runs twice as fast, it must move twice as much air in and out.
When horses inhale during exercise, about 90% of the resistance to air movement is in the upper airways: Nostrils, nasal passages, larynx and trachea. The nose is a major contributor to the resistance.
Tightening a horse’s girth too much will affect performance, not because of constricting the chest and preventing the lungs from expanding, but because it decreases the effectiveness of the muscles around the front of the chest and
shoulder that move the forelegs. More strides result in more breaths.
During canter and gallop, horses do not breathe by expanding and contracting their chest. They expand and contract the chest when breathing at rest, when walking and trotting, and when blowing hard after exercise. During a fast canter
and gallop, all air movement comes from movement of the legs and diaphragm. The air moves in and out along the lines of a syringe; with the stiff wall of the syringe representing the chest and the plunger the diaphragm.
Horses hold their breath over jumps and do not breathe again until they land; then, they begin by exhaling or breathing out.
You cannot train the respiratory system of the horse. The amount of air moved in and out by an unfit horse at a fixed speed will be the same as when that horse is fully fit.
When galloping, the blood pressure in the blood vessels within the horse’s lungs (referred to as pulmonary blood vessels) is 4-5 times greater than when at rest.
Increased pressure puts stress on the very thin walls of the blood vessels and can cause them to rupture. This bleeding, also referred to as exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), occurs deep within the lung tissues. Horses that
bleed rarely show blood at the nostrils.


By the time a horse crosses the finish line in a 5 furlong race, has completed a Grand Prix show jumping round, or gone 1/6th of the way around a 3-star cross-country course, it will have moved around 1,800 liters (475 gallons) or six
bathtubs of air in and out of its lungs. This equates to moving two buckets of air in and out of the lungs every second!

The air inhaled during a race consists of about 380 liters (100 gallons) of oxygen and only a quarter of that air (95 liters) will be absorbed into the blood – the rest is made up of nitrogen. The oxygen absorbed by the lungs is used to perform
the process of aerobic metabolism, which gets the energy from stored glucose (carbohydrates) into the muscle cells. Of the total amount of energy the horse needs to get from the starting gate to the finish line in a 5 furlong race, around
70% of this will come from aerobic metabolism (around 70% for show jumping and 90% for cross-country).

The remaining energy comes from anaerobic metabolism, which also breaks down glucose to generate energy, but can be done without oxygen. Anaerobic metabolism is a fast process but is inefficient because it can only be used for a short
time due to buildup of lactic acid. Even in a race or jumping round lasting less than a minute, the majority of the energy generated must come from using oxygen to “burn” carbohydrates.

The harder a horse works the more oxygen it needs and the more air it must move in and out of the lungs. If a horse doubles its speed, it will need to double the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs.

FLAIR® Strips support the tissues in the nasal passages to reduce resistance and make it easier for horses to bring air into the lungs.

The membranes that the oxygen must transfer across are so thin that they can rupture under the stress of exercise. When this happens, red blood cells spill from the capillaries into the alveoli and is known as bleeding or exercise induced
pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).

Several independent clinical studies show that by reducing nasal resistance at the nasal valve with the use of FLAIR Strips, these ruptures, and thus bleeding, is directly reduced.

Once in the bloodstream, the oxygen is bound to hemoglobin (the molecule inside red blood cells that makes blood red) and the oxygen-rich blood is pumped around the body by the heart. This oxygen-rich blood must then reach the muscles
to provide energy. At the muscle, the reverse process takes place with oxygen leaving the red blood cells and crossing into the muscle cells, again by diffusion. Finally in the muscle cells, the oxygen moves to a sub-unit of the cell
(“organelle”) called the mitochondria. By the time it gets inside the mitochondria, the level of oxygen may only be around 1/80th of that in the air outside the horse!

Efficient oxygen transfer from the airways to the red blood cells is very important in maximizing energy and a horse's ability to exercise. Some of the best racehorses (especially those racing over middle and longer distances) have large
hearts and/or a high capacity to use oxygen.

FLAIR Strips help horses with even the biggest hearts and greatest capacity use the oxygen that they bring in as efficiently as possible.


A well-functioning respiratory system is important for maximizing energy and getting rid of carbon dioxide – a waste product produced within the mitochondria of muscle cells during exercise. This process is effectively the same as bringing
oxygen in, but in reverse. Carbon dioxide moves out of the cells by diffusion. When blood reaches the lungs, the carbon dioxide diffuses out across the membrane and into the airways. The carbon dioxide is then breathed out during
exhalation. It’s important to exhale carbon dioxide as fast as possible; otherwise, the carbon dioxide can build up and contribute to fatigue.


The lungs are a very important filter. All the blood in circulation passes through the lungs when it comes back in the veins from being pumped out around the body in arteries. Lungs have a better capacity to deal with bubbles and clots than
most other organs in the body; so, it’s the ideal place to filter out any small blood clots (thrombi) or gas bubbles (emboli). While it’s not great to have a gas bubble in the lung (pulmonary embolism), it’s still highly preferable for this to go
through the lung and be filtered rather than lodging in a coronary (heart) vessel or the brain.

The lung is also able to activate or deactivate certain hormones in circulation. In some cases, the lung acts an endocrine organ and releases hormones that can have effects on the whole body.

The skin, the lung and the gastro-intestinal tract are the body’s interfaces with the outside world. Therefore, the lung has a highly developed immune system, different to that in other parts of the body, with specialized types of white blood
cells to deal with things that could be inhaled, such as particles, bacteria, fungi and virus.


An important but often overlooked function of the respiratory system is regulating body temperature. If a horse is taken from a cool climate to a warmer climate, they can increase their breathing rate at rest. Respiratory heat loss is an
important thermoregulatory mechanism for the horse. Although it is commonly believed that horses blow after exercise because they are trying to get more oxygen into the blood, they are actually trying to regulate how hot they are.

FLAIR Strips help horses recover quicker by bringing cooler external air in more efficiently.

To some extent the horse is still an enigma. There is no other animal that can carry the weight of a person (often representing an extra 10-15% of its own body weight) and itself at speeds of up to 35 mph or more. So, it may not be surprising
that the horse’s respiratory system displays some curiosities, especially when compared to humans. Learn more about the equine respiratory system from Dr. David Marlin.


FLAIR® Strips Clinical Abstracts  

Full research articles are available upon request.


Poole, David C., PhD et al. “Effects of External Nasal Support on Pulmonary Gas Exchange and EIPH in the Horse.” Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Volume 20: Number 9, 578-585, 2000.

Seven horses were exercised on a high speed treadmill with and without FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips. When they were wearing Nasal Strips, V02 was significantly reduced indicating a reduction in the work of breathing. Broncho alveolar
lavage (BAL) fluid analysis also showed a significant reduction in the number of red blood cells recovered from the lungs of horses when wearing the FLAIR Strips as compared to the control run.


Kindig, Casey A. PhD et al. “Efficacy of Nasal Strip and Furosemide in Mitigating EIPH in Thoroughbred Horses.” Journal of Applied Physiology. Volume 91: 1396-1400, 2001.

Five thoroughbred horses were exercised on a high speed treadmill at near maximal efforts four times under the following conditions: control; wearing FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips; medicated with Furosemide; wearing FLAIR Equine Nasal
Strips and medicated with Furosemide. Horses wearing FLAIR Strips showed a significant reduction of EIPH based on analysis of BAL fluid.


Goetz, Thomas E et al. “Nasal strips do not affect pulmonary gas exchange, anaerobic metabolism, or EIPH in exercising Thoroughbreds”. Journal of Applied Physiology. Volume 90: 2378-2385, 2001. and Editor requested comments by
Kindig, Casey A. PhD et al. “Nasal Strips and EIPH in the Exercising Thoroughbred Racehorse, id at 1908-09 and Reply, id at 1909-10.

Seven thoroughbred horses were subjected to two sets of experiments, control and nasal strip, in random order 7 days apart. Simultaneous measurements of core temperature, arterial and mixed venous blood gases/pH and blood lactate
and ammonia concentrations were made at rest, during submaximal and near-maximal exercise, and during recovery. Statistically significant differences between the control and nasal strip experiments were not reported. The authors,
however, failed to measure pulmonary gas exchange. The authors further stated “Also, all horses experienced EIPH in both treatments.” However, there is no known method to eliminate EIPH. The Editor of the publication requested comment
by another group of researchers finding contrary results regarding EIPH. Of significant importance is that in contrast to this study, other studies based on quantitative evaluation, have shown that FLAIR Strips significantly reduce EIPH. Due to
lack of quantitative evaluation, this study is inconclusive as to whether the Strips reduced EIPH. Also, photographs from the study showed that placement of the nasal strips was not correct; it was too far above the nostrils. This study has
been criticized by other authors.


Geor, Ray J. PhD et al. “Effects of an External Nasal Strip and Furosemide on Pulmonary Haemorrhage in Thoroughbreds Following High-Intensity Exercise.” Equine Veterinary Journal. Volume 33: Number 6, 577-584, 2001.

Eight thoroughbred horses were exercised at 120% maximal oxygenconsumption (VO2max) by sprinting on a high speed treadmill under the following conditions: control (c); wearing FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips (ns); medicated with furosemide
(f); wearing FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips and medicated with furosemide (NS+F). Horses treated with furosemide carried weight equal to that caused by fluid loss after furosemide administration. Horses wearing FLAIR Strips showed a
significant reduction of EIPH based on analysis of BAL fluid. Horses injected with furosemide showed a greater reduction in EIPH. Both VO2 and CO2 were significantly lowered in the NS and NS + FR trials over control. The researchers
concluded that “the external nasal strip appears to lower the metabolic cost of supramaximal exertion in horses.”


Holcombe, Susan J. VMD, PhD et al. “Effect of Commercially Available Nasal Strips on Airway Resistance in Exercising Horses.” American Journal of Veterinary Research. Volume 63: Number 8, 1101-1105, August 2002.

Six horses were exercised on a treadmill at speeds corresponding to 100 and 120% maximal heart rate with and without application of Flair Strips. Tracheal pressures, airflow, and heart rate were measured. Main effects of the nasal strip
were a significant decrease in inspiratory airway resistance and a significantly lower negative peak tracheal inspiratory pressure. The researchers stated that nasal strips probably decrease the amount of work required for respiratory
muscles in horses during intense exercise and may reduce the energy required for breathing.


Valdez, Sandra C., MVZ et al. “Effect of an External Nasal Dilator Strip on Cytologic Characteristics of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid in Thoroughbred and Racehorses.” Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. Volume 224:
Number 4, 558-561, February 15, 2004.

23 thoroughbred racehorses in active training at Golden Gate Fields Racetrack in California were raced with and without FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips. All horses were administered furosemide 4 hours before each race. Mean red blood cell
count in BAL fluid in horses with severe bleeding was significantly reduced when wearing nasal strips. The mean lymphocyte count was also significantly reduced in BAL fluid of horses when wearing nasal strips.


McDonough, P. et al. “Effect of Furosemide and the Equine Nasal Strip on Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage and Time-to-Fatigue in Maximally Exercising Horses.” Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology. Volume 1: Number 3,
177-184, August 2004.

Six thoroughbred horses were exercised on a treadmill at near-maximal running to fatigue under the following conditions: control (C); wearing nasal strips (NS); medicated with furosemide (NS + F); and wearing nasal strips and medicated with
furosemide (NS+F). “A very interesting, and novel, finding of the current investigation is that while both FUR and the NS reduced EIPH severity, the NS was equally as effective as FUR during maximal running to fatigue.” Both FUR and NS
caused an increased time-to-fatigue. As in previous studies of the nasal strip, VO2 was reduced, probably due to reduction of the O2 cost of breathing.


Howard H. Erickson, DVM, PhD, et al. "Review of Alternative Therapies for EIPH", Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Volume 53, 68-71, 2007.

Almost 400 Thoroughbred horses that wore nasal strips were evaluated at Calder Race Course in Florida in 1999-2000. The horses with the strip had a win percentage 3.4% higher than horses that did not wear a strip. Horses wearing a
nasal strip also had a 15% decrease in the interval to the next race (23 days) compared with the race-to-race interval before wearing a nasal strip (29 days).
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