Research Journal: March 2021

“The information, ideas, and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture."

Laminitis is the Most Common Reason for Horse Euthanasia

A 2-year prospective survey examined the rate of euthanasia and factors associated with euthanasia among 1,070 horses and ponies in Great Britain. This analysis was part of a larger study of laminitis that enrolled owners of healthy animals who responded via a web-based survey. Most respondents owned one to three animals for an average of about 7 years. Native pony breeds were most common and while most owners (60%) reported their animals were in ideal body condition, a third of the animals enrolled had a previous history of laminitis.

Eighty animals (annualized to about 7.5%) were euthanized during the follow-up period. Laminitis and its consequences were the most common reason for euthanasia (25% of animals euthanized) followed by colic (21%), other causes of lameness (20%) and old age (20%). Pituitary dysfunction, navicular disease and perceived poor hoof quality were other factors that significantly influenced euthanasia decisions.

That laminitis would be a frequent reason for euthanasia in a larger survey study where owners enrolled to assist in laminitis research, and 25% of the animals had a history of laminitis is not surprising. Nevertheless, this study does provide valuable insight into the reasons for euthanasia in this population of animals.

— Pollard D et al. Prev Vet 2020;174:104833

Jockeys Like Shoes

Farriers, veterinarians and jockeys in the United Kingdom teamed up to study jockey’s perceptions of hoof-ground interactions with an eye toward safety given four types of shoeing: aluminum, steel, GluShu and barefoot…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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