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Shock Wave Therapy Update

Shock wave therapy is a treatment used by veterinarians to treat conditions such as bone fractures or ligament problems on horses. It promotes bone growth and healing as well as minimizing the pain.

Shock wave uses high-engery acoustic pulses (similar to sound waves), not electrical pulses, that travel readily through soft tissues. The pulses stimulate osteoclasts (the bone cells that rebuild the bone), enhances the development of new blood vessels and provides an anti-inflammatory action that reduces the biochemicals responsible for pain.

Studies have shown that horses do better post treatment when rested.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board requires that the equipment and its use is reported to the MGCB Horse Racing veterinarian. The MGCB Horse Racing forms to register the equipment and document the use on horse racing in Michigan can be found in the forms section of our website.

The following procedures shall be implemented for the use of ESWT-RPWT on race horses:

  • Only licensed veterinarians, who are in good standing with the MGCB and the Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine, may use ESWT-RPWT.
  • All ESWT-RPWT equipment must be registered with the MGCB using the MGCB form RC-109, " Registration of Shock Wave/Radial Pulse Therapy Equipment ."
  • All ESWT-RPWT treatment of race horses must be reported by the treating veterinarian using the MGCB form RC-108 titled " Horses Treated with Extracorpeal Shock Wave Therapy and Radial Pulse Wave Therapy " to the MGCB veterinarian within 24 hours of treatment if the race horse being treated is intended to be entered at a Michigan licensed pari-mutuel track within 10 days of treatment.
  • All horses receiving treatment will be placed on the Vet's List and will not be eligible to race for 7 days following the treatment. Day 1 is the day following the treatment.
  • Failure to follow any of these will result in the notification to the Board of Stewards for disciplinary action.
Related Content
 •  Notice of Use of Cold Therapy on Race Day PDF icon
 •  MGCB Vet and Horse Health Requirements for Standardbred Trainers PDF icon
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 •  Over the Counter Medications and Remedies
 •  Medication and Illegal Substance Testing PDF icon
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