Studies have shown that FLAIR® Strips reduce fatigue in exercising horses. Fatigue is a common equine health problem known to play a role in many musculoskeletal injuries including:
- Pulled suspensory ligaments
- Bowed tendons
- Fractured bones
Early studies, led by Dr. Howard Erickson at Kansas State University, showed that FLAIR Strips reduce the amount of oxygen horses consume during exercise. These results were later reproduced by a study in Kentucky.
The early studies theorized that nasal strips reduced the amount of work needed to breathe by reducing upper airway resistance. This theory was later tested and resulted in a major breakthrough in understanding equine respiratory physiology by Dr. N. Edward Robinson’s team at the Pulmonary Laboratory at Michigan State University.
This group’s study established that nasal strips reduced airway resistance and peak tracheal inspiratory pressures (reduced negative pressure) by supporting the skin overlying the nasal passages. This prevents the collapse or narrowing of the upper airway at its narrowest point: the nasoincisive notch, about 3 to 4 inches above the nostrils.
The results of this study were first presented in 2000 at the World Equine Airways Symposium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Robinson’s team was skeptical of the earlier reported benefits of using FLAIR Strips on horses, but to to their surprise, their data proved otherwise.
In their report, Robinson’s group speculated:
“The nasal strip probably decreases the amount of work required for respiratory muscles in horses during intense exercise and may reduce the energy required for breathing in these horses.”
More recently, Kansas State studies have shown that nasal strips delay the onset of fatigue in exercising horses.