Research Journal: July/August 2017

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

Risks For Grass Founder

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College conducted a prospective cohort study of risk factors for the development of pasture associated laminitis (PAL, also called grass founder) among ponies with no previous history of laminitis. Four hundred forty-six Welsh (36%), Shetland (17%) and cob (9%) ponies with a median age of 15 years were recruited for the study. Numerous physical measurements and blood tests were taken to measure metabolic activity, including an initial dexamethasone suppression test. The animals were followed for 3 years to see which ones naturally developed laminitis while grazing grass pastures.

The majority (72%) of the animals were scored as overweight or obese at the start of the study. After 3 years, 10% of the animals had foundered as confirmed by a veterinarian. Also during the course of the study, approximately 3% of the animals were euthanized annually for reasons other than laminitis. None of the physical characteristics measured were associated with the risk of laminitis, but high baseline insulin, high insulin following the dexamethasone suppression test and low plasma adiponectin (a protein hormone that regulates fatty acid breakdown and blood glucose levels) were associated with increased risk of developing laminitis.

— Menzies-Gow et al. EVJ 2017;49:300-306

Pressure Bandages

An experiment was conducted to measure the pressure exerted by two types of distal limb compression bandages commonly used on the lower legs of horses; a compression bandage (disposable cotton combine padding, a roll of wide gauze and disposable elastic self-adhering wrap) and a traditional…

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Albert Kane

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

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