Research has revealed half of laminitis cases may not be recognised by owners.
According to the CARE About Laminitis study, out of a number of laminitis cases reported by vets, approximately 50 percent of the horse owners had not suspected the condition.
“Equine laminitis is ranked as one of the top health concerns by both owners and vets,” said PhD student Dee Pollard, who is leading the CARE study. “However, it is a notoriously complex disease and diagnosis is not always straightforward.
“There are no clinical signs that are present in every case and laminitis can initially masquerade as another clinical problem, such as an abscess or colic.”
World Horse Welfare has produced a short film featuring a number of its rescue horses in a bid to motivate horse owners to join the CARE study.
The four-year study is the first and largest web-based equine cohort study in Britain. This is where a test group are identified and followed over a period of time to see how their lifestyle affects their health.
Cohort studies have been extensively used in human medicine and it is hoped this study will help determine how common laminitis is and which equine lifestyle factors affect it.
“We need a collaborative effort by all horse owners, professionals and researchers to both increase awareness about laminitis and, in time, to help make early recognition of laminitis less deceptive,” said Dee Pollard.