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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • epidemiology;
  • laminitis;
  • private practice;
  • case-control study

Summary

A descriptive and matched case-control study of laminitis was conducted in 7 private practices and at the Texas Veterinary Medical Centre (TVMC) between May 1992 and July 1993. Out of 108 horses with laminitis, 19 acute (49%) and 20 chronic (51%) cases were seen in private practice and 16 acute (23%) and 53 chronic (77%) cases at the TVMC. Gastrointestinal disease was the most common problem in 19/35 horses (54%), occurring just prior to the onset of acute laminitis in all hospitals. Among all horses in the study, most commonly used drugs were phenylbutazone (68%), acepromazine (34%), dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) (27%), antibiotics of various types (19%) and flunixin meglumine (19%). Acepromazine, DMSO and flunixin meglumine were used more commonly in acute cases of laminitis compared to chronic cases. In acutely affected horses, DMSO and flunixin meglumine were used significantly more often at the TVMC. In chronic cases, phenylbutazone and antibiotics were used more often in private practice. Shoeing and trimming were more commonly part of the treatment protocol for chronic cases. There were no significant associations between age, breed, sex or weight and the occurrence of acute laminitis. Horses with chronic laminitis were significantly older (P=0.04) and more females tended to be affected (P=0.08).