Moreover, analysis of Cushing’s test results from more than 15,000 UK horses and ponies3 has identified that Cushing’s is not just a disease of veteran animals, but could be responsible for laminitis in any horse or pony over the age of 10. In fact, more than a third of the 10-15 year olds within this group were positive for Cushing’s. They were tested because they were showing signs of the disease such as laminitis, abnormal hair coat, muscle wastage and fat deposits round the eyes. Horses or ponies with any of these clinical signs should be tested for Cushing’s so that the condition can be treated and managed appropriately.
With this in mind, the national disease awareness initiative ‘Talk About Laminitis’ will run until the end of October with free laboratory fees available for the blood test used to detect Cushing’s disease. The initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the underlying hormonal causes of laminitis, and is supported by Redwings, The British Horse Society and World Horse Welfare.
To participate in the free testing scheme or for further information talk to your vet or visit www.talkaboutlaminitis.co.uk to download your free blood test voucher*. Early diagnosis and intervention are critical to help reduce the risk of further recurrent episodes of laminitis.
* Free laboratory fees
- Karikoski et al. (2011). The prevalence of endocrinopathic laminitis among horses presented for laminitis at a first-opinion/referral equine hospital. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 41 111–117
- Donaldson et al. (2004). Evaluation of suspected pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction in horses with laminitis. J Am Vet Med Assoc;224:1123–1127.
- Data from ‘Talk About Laminitis’ 2011-2013. Over 15,000 horses. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica
The ‘Talk About Laminitis’ disease awareness initiative is a campaign supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, Vetmedica Division. Produced by the makers of Prascend. Further information available from Boehringer Ingelheim Limited, Vetmedica Division, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 8YS, UK. Date of preparation: April 2014. AHD 8120. Use Medicines Responsibly (www.noah.co.uk/responsible)