ANALYTICAL CLINICAL STUDIES
A cohort study of equine laminitis in Great Britain 2009–2011: Estimation of disease frequency and description of clinical signs in 577 cases
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2013
© 2013 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 45, Issue 6, pages 681–687, November 2013
How to Cite
Wylie, C. E., Collins, S. N., Verheyen, K. L. P. and Newton, J. R. (2013), A cohort study of equine laminitis in Great Britain 2009–2011: Estimation of disease frequency and description of clinical signs in 577 cases. Equine Veterinary Journal, 45: 681–687. doi: 10.1111/evj.12047
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 11 JAN 2013 08:20AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 12 JUL 2012
- World Horse Welfare
- clinical signs
Reasons for performing study
A previous systematic review highlighted a lack of good evidence regarding the frequency of equine laminitis in Great Britain.
To estimate the frequency of veterinary-diagnosed active laminitis in the general horse population of Great Britain and to describe the clinical signs present in cases.
Prospective cohort study.
Data on active episodes of equine laminitis were collected from veterinary practitioners.
The prevalence of veterinary-diagnosed active laminitis was 0.47% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.42–0.52%) for the veterinary-attended population and 0.49% (95% CI 0.43–0.55%) for the veterinary-registered population, suggesting that active episodes of laminitis accounted for nearly one in 200 equine visits and occurred in nearly one in 200 horses registered with veterinary practices. The incidence of veterinary-diagnosed active laminitis was 0.5 cases per 100 horse-years at risk (95% CI 0.44–0.57). Laminitis occurred in all limbs, but most commonly affected the forelimbs bilaterally (53.5%, 95% CI 49.4–57.7%) and was most severe in the front feet. The most common clinical signs were increased digital pulses, difficulty turning and a short, stilted gait at walk.
Conclusions and potential relevance
The frequency of veterinary-diagnosed active laminitis was considerably lower than previously published estimates, which is probably due to differences in geographical setting, study period, case definition, study design and study populations.