Understanding Equine Lungs Through Evolution - Vetline Equine

Understanding Equine Lungs Through Evolution

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Evolution of Equine

The existence of horses spans back all the way to 55 million years ago where some could be compared to the size of a small dog or could even be three-toed! Modern horses only make up a small fraction of what we have seen in the past. Equus is the current genus of all extant horses in the present day with only seven living species. Over these eons, horses have evolved through natural selection into the present day 1000 to 1200-pounds, 52 to 64-inches, singled hoofed mammals.

Evolution of Equine Lungs and Gas Exchange 

In the mammalian lung, gas exchange occurs when oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse through a concentration gradient to restore depleted oxygen levels in the lungs and into the blood. This process allowed for the “explosion” of adaptive terrestrial animals in the Cambrian era. This aerobic process grants high energy production that is vital for developing, maintaining and repairing the infrastructure of complex cells, tissues and muscles. The site where this respiration occurs is in the pulmonary capillaries which are driven by the alveoli, air sacs of the lungs that are vital for gas exchange to occur. Species have different lung capacities to diffuse essential gases at different rates. Horses are unique in the fact that since they have evolved to be such large mammals, they have adapted by having a larger lung capacity. A mechanism that we use to measure the diffusing capacity of the lungs in relationship to pulmonary capillary blood flow is DLO2(the blood that undergoes gas exchange with the alveolar air in the pulmonary capillaries).

The Problem with Equine Evolution

Horses known for their astounding aerobic power and endurance may have evolved the worst respiratory system disorder of any mammalian species. Horses can only breathe out their nose, causing issues to arise when these animals are put through strenuous exercise. When endurance horses are put through strenuous exercise the horse must keep its pace of breathing equal to every stride to take up enough oxygen. Oxygen is diffused over the alveoli into the lungs, measured at 1/50,000 of an inch. These delicate lungs put horses at a great disadvantage. Studies have shown that breathing during strenuous exercise can exert up to five times as much pressure on their lungs which can cause every owners nightmare – exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage otherwise known as EIPH. Extreme amounts of pressure cause the capillaries in close proximity to the alveoli to rupture causing blood to enter the lungs.

RACE TODAY Can Accelerate the Beneficial “Mutation” that the Equine Respiratory Needs

Unfortunately, a horse cannot be trained to breathe in any other way, its something they do without thinking as do humans. Evolution can be an extremely slow process compared to a human’s lifetime, so we cannot rely on these mammals to evolve stronger and thicker lungs. The most optimal way to treat a horse with EIPH is to administer a substance that will directly target and vitalize the thin membrane that is easily prone to bursting. RACE TODAY was formulated for this exact biological process. RACE TODAY is patented to decrease oxidative damage, support proper blood circulation, and overall build up the pulmonary capillary wall. Although beneficial mutations arise, RACE TODAY is something that can change the course of your horses career TODAY.