The Laminitis Trust has awarded a grant of £134,425 to the Royal Veterinary College and the Laminitis Consortium to investigate the effects of exercise on horses and ponies that are predisposed to pasture-associated laminitis.
The International Laminitis Research Consortium comprises equine veterinary, nutrition and research experts interested in collaborating on the important topic of laminitis. It includes Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow and Professor Jonathan Elliott of the RVC, Dr Pat Harris of the WALTHAM® Equine Studies Group, and Clare Barfoot of Mars Horsecare UK Ltd.
Perhaps the most important issues in laminitis clinical research, especially for those who own or look after affected animals, is why some individuals seem to be predisposed to recurrent bouts of this potentially devastating condition and how can their susceptibility to future episodes be reduced. This project aims to evaluate both aspects with the aim of identifying potentially beneficial management procedures.
Lead investigator, Dr Menzies-Gow, explains: “This project will in part investigate whether exercise can reduce the level of chronic inflammation in laminitis-prone animals, which may then prove to be a simple and practical way of reducing the risk of future bouts of disease in susceptible animals.”
The grant commences in January 2010 and will run over two years. The Laminitis Consortium will provide regular updates on progress.
Robert Eustace, founder of the Laminitis Trust said: “We are very grateful to all who have made legacies and donations to the Laminitis Trust. Additionally we recognise the efforts of the feed companies. Their responsible attitude to horse nutrition has enabled the Laminitis Trust Feed Approval Mark to become the "gold standard". Lastly, without the support of their customers who buy Approved Feeds for their animals, the Trust would not have been able to provide this substantial research grant to the RVC.”