Major laminitis study launched in Britain

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laminitisResearchers are hoping to gather data on more than 3000 British horses and ponies as part of a major study that hopes to identify the controllable risk factors for laminitis.

World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers described the research as vital.

The study provided an opportunity for horse owners to contribute to knowledge around a horrible disease that caused so much pain and suffering to countless horses, he said.

The project is a collaborative effort between World Horse Welfare, the Animal Health Trust and the Royal Veterinary College.

“Whatever their age, use or breed – whether they’re a 2 year-old Shetland companion, a 10 year-old Thoroughbred competition horse or a 30 year-old Clydesdale lawn-mower – their data is vital to the success of this research,” Owers said.

“And it doesn’t matter whether they have previously suffered from laminitis before or not.”

Those willing to be involved will need to spend about 40 minutes initially providing general information online about the management of their horse or pony, followed by brief quarterly updates for the next 12-18 months.

“It is a small investment of time that could have a huge impact on future generations of horses,” Owers said.

Those interested in taking part must register here before continuing on with the questionnaire. Each participant must complete the questionnaire to fully register for the study.

Those taking part should have at hand their animal’s equine passport, details of any recent veterinary treatment and medication, and details and approximate timings of routine health care such as worming, dentistry and hoof care.

The questionnaire comprises eight sections, covering general information, turnout and grazing management, stabling and indoor environment, feeding, exercise, transport, hoof care, and health management and history.

Individuals are welcome to enrol more than one horse or pony, but will need to complete a separate questionnaire for each one.

As well as regular updates, participants will be asked to complete a Laminitis Reporting Form should their horse or pony come down with the condition during the study.

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