The Veterinary Treatment Register (VTR) has to be completed whenever a horse receives veterinary treatments:

  • Treatments provided by a veterinarian during consultation or during follow-up visits.
  • Treatments of scheduled chronic medication by the trainer to a schedule (which is written in the VTR or on the medication label) officially recorded by the veterinarian (for example furosemide (Salix) for exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage or clenbuterol (Ventipulmin) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Treatments of the trainer of a non-routine (not chronic, rather once-off) medication to the schedule (which is written in the VTR or on the medication label) officially recorded by the veterinarian (for example procaine penicillin treatment provided by the trainer over 3 days).
  • Treatments provided by the trainer employing unscheduled and S1 & S2 medications which contain prohibited substances, which can be obtained without consultation, without the intervention of a veterinarian (for example Bioplus, Voltaren and Aspirin).
  • Treatments of non-prohibited medications and substances which must be recorded (for example vitamin B12, DMSO and salicylic acid liniment).

The labelling of medication and preparations and VTR entries.

It is required that prescribed medication is clearly and completely labelled with all writing clearly legible.
Veterinary practise “medication and treatment codes” and abbreviations which are not universally recognised are not acceptable.
The label must specify:

  • the name, qualifications and address of the relevant veterinarian / dispensing pharmacist.
  • the name of the horse.
  •  the dosage, route of administration and frequency of administration.
  • the person to whom it is dispensed.
  • the name of the medicine.
  •  the relevant VTR page number of the treatment / prescription.

Treatment using therapeutic substances Schedule 3 (and higher schedule) preparations.

Such treatments could be frequent when a veterinarian diagnoses a horse for a particular condition and when a therapeutic medication / medication course is prescribed. 

  • Any prescription of medication and administration of such medication by the veterinarian must be recorded in the VTR.
  • Any medication which is left with the trainer must be labelled as prescribed above.
  • The trainer may be instructed to make additional treatments over time, according to written instruction from the veterinarian (such as written in the VTR or on the medication label).
  • The trainer must enter such administration to the horse, indicating the dose and the date.
  •  The veterinarian may only prescribe a medication preparation for 30 days. Following this the prescription is expired and the preparation must be returned to the veterinarian. The veterinarian may decide to re-label such medication.
  • The VTR entries for beta-2 agonist substances (which are “Forbidden Substances if not prescribed by a veterinarian” in the Rules of the NHA) are very important to record accurately and to record in detail. The medication labels must be completed in full and these must be completed correctly. These include preparations of the substances salbutamol (inhalers such as Seravent, Asthavent, Ventolin and Ventese) and clenbuterol (Planipart and Ventipulmin).When a Traumeel Injection (this is an S3 preparation) is administered to a horse this must be recorded (authorised) by a veterinarian entry in the VTR.
  • Extended treatment regimens of Schedule 3 (and higher schedule) preparations.
    The routine administration of EIPH medication such as Furosemide must be recorded by the trainer every time it is administered, indicating the dose and date.
    Chronic medication prescriptions must be renewed every 30 days and re-entered into the VTR with a new up-to-date label and with recording the corresponding VTR number on the medication.

Treatment of Schedule 1 & 2 preparations and unscheduled preparations.

There are many over-the-counter medications and shop-front medications which can be purchased at shops and at pharmacies. Before these are administered to horses these must be studied and researched to make sure these do not contain prohibited substances. It is advised to consult a veterinarian regarding prohibited substances and their relevant withdrawal times when prohibited substances are (could be) contained in such preparations.
Examples of gels and patches:

  • Voltaren Emulgel (containing diclofenac)
  • Fastum (containing ketoprofen)
  • Transact (containing flurbiprofen)
  • Aspirin (resulting in salicylic acid to be released)
  • Salsprin, Sloan’s Heat Rub cream, Reparil Gel, Thermo Rub, Rigly Horse Liniment; Deep Heat Rub, Equiline Liniment Liquid, Oil of Wintergreen, Sprain Liniment Gel; Vet Balm and Vetsence Otiderm (this is not an exhaustive list, these containg diethylamine salicylate or methylsalicylate or salicylate, which result in salicylic acid levels in the horse to increase).
    Examples of inhalers with an over-the-counter S2 schedule:
    • Venteze, Ventolin, Seravent and Asthavent
    (these contain the Forbidden Substance salbutamol and a detailed VTR entry and preparation prescription label completed by a veterinarian is required).

Examples of unscheduled medications:

• Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)
• Caffeine contain preparations (such as Bioplus)
• Arsenic containing preparations and supplements.

The administration of arsenic, cobalt, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), salicylic acid, substances which can elevate plasma carbon dioxide levels and substances which could elevate 3-methoxytyramine levels MUST BE RECORDED IN THE VTR, AS DETAILED BELOW.


  • Arsenic.

Arsenic is a metalloid chemical compound (a metal which can be present as a salt) found in the natural environment. It is known that arsenic preparations are marketed for use in the horse with the claims to stimulate appetite, to assist in the treatment of anaemia and to improve coat quality.

  • Cobalt (a part of vitamin B12 - which also named cobalamine).

It must be checked for on the label of preparations and medications if cobalt is contained (also if vitamin B12 is contained). Well-known products include Red Cell, Hemo-15, V.A.M. injection, Kyro B + Liver, Kyrovital, Kyrophos Metabolic, Catasol, Intravit, Biosol, Iron Power, Hemopar, Vitamaster, Hemostam, Ultra-Fer 300 and Total Control (this is not an exhaustive list).

  • Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO, methyl sulfoxide & (methanesulfinyl)methan).

DMSO, which a stand-alone preparation, can also be contained as a component of some medications. The labels of preparations and medications must be checked for DMSO presence.

  • Salicylic acid (sources of which include Aspirin, diethylamine salicylate, methylsalicylate and salicylate).

Medications and preparations must be checked on the label to contain any of the above. These could include powders, liquids and topical applied ointments and gels. Preparations include “Aspirin” and Salsprin (injectable), Sloan’s Heat Rub cream, Reparil Gel, Thermo Rub, Rigly Horse Liniment; Deep Heat Rub, Equiline Liniment Liquid, Oil of Wintergreen, Sprain Liniment Gel; Vet Balm; Sebbaderm shampoo, Vetsence Otiderm and Sodium Salicyl (this is not an exhaustive list).

• Agents and preparations which could increase Total Carbon Dioxide (TCO2) in blood.

These could be buffers, drenches and drips and can include alkalinising agents such as bicarbonates, citrates, succinates, acetates, propionates, maleates, lactates, trometamol, tris buffer or trometamine. Included are products described as urinary alkalinisers and “hind gut buffers”
• Dopamine.

The administration of dopamine can elevate 3-methoxytyramine levels in the racehorse. Any preparations which could contain dopamine must be recorded.

The administration of the bisphosphonate tiludronic acid (Tildren) to the racehorse.
If a bisphosphonate needs to be administered to a horse then the horse must be a least 3.5 years old and then only the local veterinary preparation Tildren (tiludronic acid / tiludronate) may be administered. Tiludronic acid may only be administered to the requirements of the NHA. It must be administered by a veterinary surgeon in accordance with the product label instructions. The administration must be recorded in detail in the VTR.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy to be recorded.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy must be recorded in detail. The veterinarian must prescribe a programme for the horse and this programme must be written into the VTR. Each time the horse is treated this treatment must be recorded by the trainer and 7 days race withdrawal must apply. Refer to the separate NHA website notice on Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for more details.

The importance of VTR entries during Out of Competition testing.
During Out of Competition visits specimens will be collected from selected racehorses. These will be sent to the NHA Laboratory for analysis. A record will be made of the VTR entries of the selected racehorses. All of the prohibited substances (due to substance / preparation administration) which are found during analysis at the NHA Laboratory must have been entered in the VTR at the time of the collection of such specimens. Available medications will be checked for labelling. The prescription expiry dates of medications entered on the VTR will be checked. It is therefore important that VTR entries are always up to date and that medications are available at that time and that these are correctly labelled.

VTR entries recorded in the VTR book of the veterinarian.
Should the veterinarian utilise “an own VTR”, then the trainer must keep in record one of the paper copies of the VTR page which the veterinarian completed - which the veterinarian must leave behind.

The responsibilities of the trainer in maintaining compliant VTR records.
It is the trainer’s responsibility to ensure that the veterinarian completes the VTR legibly and in the manner prescribed by the NHA. The hospital discharge form is also considered a treatment record in terms of the NHA Rules (this to cover horses returning from surgery or hospitalization) and such hospitalisation must be recorded in the VTR.

Expired medication, medication treatment regimens which are complete.
Any medication found in the possession of a trainer which was prescribed more than a month previously (therefore an expired prescription) will be confiscated and the trainer will be fined.
Any dispensed medication which is not utilised must be returned to the veterinarian for the appropriate disposal (or for the appropriate relabelling for re-use). Medications cannot be disposed of in household or in general waste.

Authorised Race Day Substances and Practises
The VTR has to be completed with the relevant details whenever a horse receives Authorised Race Day Substances veterinary treatment (details of which are provided in the Rules of the NHA - Appendix N) and / or when an Authorised Race Day Practise occurs.

The 48-hour rule.
Note that the use of prescribed, dispensed medication does NOT apply to “the 48-hour period before a race day.” Only a veterinarian may administer treatments to racehorses 48 hours prior to a race day. The exception to this rule is Authorised Race Day Substances and Authorised Race Day Practises (refer to the above).

Completed VTR registers to be returned to the NHA.
According to the rules of the NHA, all VTR’s which have been completed in full must be returned to the NHA / collected by the NHA.