Insect Control Drug May Offer Hope in Battling Laminitis

Equine Veterinarians at the University of California-Davis are looking at the possibilities of using an experimental biological insect-control drug as a potential treatment for laminitis. The anti-inflammatory compound developed by the university's entomologists was recently used successfully to treat a laminitc horse.

Becasue an inability to relieve a laminitic hore's sever pain often leads to it being eutanized, researcher Alonso Guedes felt it was important to show the potential of the compound as a laminitis treatment prior to actual clinical trials. 

At the university vet clinic, a 4-year-old retired racing Thoroughbred mare had been treated with several more conventional therapies for laminitis without favorable results. Before deciding to euthanize the horse, Guedes talked wth university entomologist about a drug that had shown favorable results in relieving inflammation, discomfort and pain related to nervous system disorders in mice and rats. The drug had never been used with animals as large as a horse. 

One the eigth day of the laminitis condition with an animal that could barely stand, the veterinarian injected the experimental compound. After recieving the first dose, the horse remained standing in the stall most of the day, became more interested in her surroundings and walked voluntarily.

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