A new Royal Veterinary College (RVC) study aims to evaluate how much horse owners know about laminitis in order to help them prevent the disease and improve overall equine health.

Chantil Sinclair, an epidemiologist at RVC, is conducting the study as part of her PhD with support from Spillers, according to Vet Times.

“First, we intend to establish the level of knowledge horse owners have about existing scientific evidence on reducing the risk of laminitis,” Sinclair says.

“We then hope to identify the specific barriers that either hinder awareness or prevent implementation of best practice.”

Research has found that risk factors for laminitis include recent introductions to grazing and box rest — but it is unknown whether or not owners understand that or change care based on those findings.

“My key objective is to understand the decision-making process when caring for horses,” she says.

The findings of this study could alter communication among researchers, equine health professionals and owners in order to promote evidence-based care.