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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • laminitis;
  • prognosis;
  • group;
  • founder distance

Summary

The significance of clinical and radiological parameters as prognostic indicators for laminitis, ‘founder’ and ‘sinking syndrome’ was studied using case records of 216 horses and ponies. Five animals were destroyed without treatment and were not included in the results of the study. One hundred and sixty-two (77%) animals returned to athletic soundness; 7 animals (3%) did not regain full athletic function, 42 animals (20%) died or were destroyed. Cases were assigned to 4 groups on the basis of initial clinical examination alone. These groups were laminitis, acute founder, ‘sinker’ and chronic founder. This grouping was found in itself to be the most important prognostic parameter which was studied. Stepwise regression analysis of the data from animals by group indicated that the radiological measurement of founder distance, was the most significant radiological prognostic measurement for acute founder cases. Less significant prognostic parameters were the severity of lameness, rotation angles, the presence of solar prolapse, and the number of feet affected. The height of the animal at the withers was not significantly related to outcome. The prognosis for horses was not significantly different from that for ponies.