The first national survey into laminitis, which aims to create a unique picture of the condition in the UK over a 12-month period, begins next month.
From the data, the Laminitis Trust hopes to establish a “laminitis profile”, highlighting the combination of characteristics that puts equines at risk. The survey will also help to establish the frequency of “triggering causes”.
Although laminitis can be prevented, controlled and treated, experts fear that the number of cases is increasing. Contrary to popular belief, the exact cause is still unknown, although specialists agree that the main culprit is soluble carbohydrate such as starch and fructan.
A spokesman for the trust says: “Reaching everyone in the industry who may have had a case of laminitis during the past year [September 2002 to September 2003] is a huge task. If you personally know of a case, please help the trust by spreading the word and forwarding the link from the website to your friends.
“This will help us reach more people and carry out research, which will ideally lead to the answers to the numerous questions we still have regarding this life-threatening disease.”
The survey can be accessed via the Laminitis Trust website (www.laminitis.org) during October, and paper copies can be obtained from Donna Abraham at the trust.
- This news article was published in this week’s Horse & Hound (25 September).