Synchronous diaphragmatic flutter (SDF), or equine thumps, presents itself as a rhythmic thumping noise in a horse’s flanks. The phrenic nerve, which runs across the heart, controls contraction of the diaphragm, but, during episodes of thumps, this nerve is hypersensitive. It becomes stimulated by the electrical impulses that normally travel across the heart and the diaphragm then contracts each time the heart beats. This diaphragm flutter is commonly referred to as thumps, since the flank muscles often respond with a hiccup-like “thump”. Instead of normal breathing, a “thumping” horse breathes in time with its heartbeat. In severe cases, the whole abdomen will have a rhythmic thumping motion.
The cause of this hypersensitivity of the phrenic nerve is an electrolyte imbalance following dehydration. This is why thumps is most common in exhausted endurance horses, and in racehorses, especially those being treated with furosemide (Lasix, Salix), a drug with effective diuretic properties. The water and electrolyte losses can be so great that in some horses normal homeostasis cannot be recovered. There often is an accompanying loss of calcium from the blood, and an acid imbalance throughout the horse’s body.
Thumps itself does not usually injure the horse, but electrolyte imbalance and dehydration are serious problems affecting performance. Once the underlying problem is treated, the thumps usually disappear on their own.
Treatment and prevention of this condition has to do with maintaining good hydration and electrolyte balance. Equiwinner does that. A simple 10-day treatment will reset the electrolyte balance, making the electrolytes work properly to trigger the involuntary thirst mechanism, quickly restoring proper hydration and preventing further dehydration. Equiwinner starts to work almost immediately. A regular ten day course of Equiwinner at the start of the season will set the cellular balance correctly so that the horse will easily withstand the normal rigors of competitive work.
Equiwinner patches contain only natural balanced electrolytes and nothing goes into the body of the horse. Results can last the season or up to one full year. There are no side effects and Equiwinner will never cause the horse to test positive.
“Anytime we’ve used the Equiwinner Patches, our horses show a significant improvement. We’ve used them for horses that tie-up, as well as horses who suffer from thumps after racing. Great product!”
– Diane Reeser, DE
“I’m always looking for products that help horses with Tying up and Not sweating, so naturally when I came across the Equiwinner patches I wanted to give them a try. They more than delivered, I was able to totally turn around a horse that did not sweat a drop that we considered a loss to the stable, and go on to win several races with him, while posting high life numbers and got claimed, resulting in a profit for the stable. I am now successfully using the patches on horses that get the thumps….can’t say enough good things about these patches.”
– Tammy Levy, FL