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Researchers in Japan did a descriptive survey of the primary and secondary epidermal laminae of 35 Thoroughbred horses of all ages to characterize the variation of normal laminae in horses without laminitis. Biopsies were taken from horses euthanized for reasons unrelated to the study and with no history of laminitis. Investigators hoped to determine if microscopic examination of laminae could be a useful tool to diagnose or stage cases of laminitis.
The laminae of each age group and type of horse were similar except for those of racehorses 3 to 5 years of age. Racehorses tended to have a higher percentage of straight primary epidermal laminae than other horses. The authors imply that this may be attributable to the mechanical stress of training opposed to pasture turnout or stall rest.
The results suggest primary and secondary epidermal laminae may undergo changes due to subclinical laminitis even in the absence of clinical signs. The authors do not recommend using microscopic examination of the laminae alone to diagnose or grade the severity of laminitis.
—Kawasako et al. AJVR 2009;70:186-193.
Although pergolide can be an effective treatment for equine Cushing’s syndrome, the human medication was taken off the market by the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 due to safety concerns in people. Pergolide is now compounded for veterinary use, but it is known to be unstable when exposed to light. It was unclear how the various compounded products should be stored before use. An…