Markers of equine laminitis predisposition: searching for a potential future diagnostic test

Fund

Norman Hayward Fund

Grant

£42,000

Research Period

2013

Area of study

Equine

Description

Investigator(s): Nicola Menzies-Gow

Laminitis is an extremely painful condition, with many horses becoming chronically debilitated and prone to current attacks. Certain individual animals appear predisposed to recurrent pasture-associated laminitis. However, there are no diagnostic tests that identify at-risk animals before the disease occurs or when their history is unknown. Developing such a test would allow the preventative management countermeasures to be appropriately targeted. By measuring several potential biomarkers in horses' blood, it was considered that it might be possible to develop a diagnostic test for laminitis predisposition.

Low plasma adiponectin as well as high basal and post dexamethasone serum insulin concentrations are consistent risk factors for the future development of laminitis in animals prior to disease occurrence. However, further cohort studies are warranted to assess these risk factors further.  

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