The coordinators of the ongoing laminitis research project have expanded the inclusion criteria in hopes of garnering additional case submissions from veterinarians, according to a statement from the coordinators.
"Based on practitioner feedback, we have changed the study definitions," the study's website relayed. "Any new case of laminitis that is evaluated within four weeks of the onset of clinical signs may be included in the study." Previously, cases had to be evaluated in a shorter time span, potentially making it difficult for practitioners to collect usable information.
"Cases can include any new case of laminitis that is not caused by sepsis, non-weight bearing, or excessive grain overload," the statement continued. "We welcome cases that occur for unknown reasons, have had recent corticosteroid administration or pasture exposure, or a presumed or confirmed endocrinopathy."
In a recent TheHorse.com article, Michelle Coleman, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, assistant research scientist at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and study coordinator, explained, "The aim of the study is to collect data from first-time cases of acute laminitis seen by private practitioners throughout the country with the goal of identifying risk factors associated with the development of this form of the disease. The results of this study will identify strategies for managing or preventing acute laminitis and help prioritize the direction of further laminitis research."
This project's success depends on horse-owner and veterinary involvement, Coleman said. While more than 450 veterinarians throughout the United States and Canada have currently registered to take part in the study, she said, data collection has, thus far, been a slow process.
Thus, the research team has renewed their call for case submission and asking for horse owners' help in furthering the veterinary community's collective understanding of laminitis.
"Although veterinarian registration exceeded our expectation, data collection is currently lagging," she added. The team is hoping to collect data on 400 laminitis cases and 800 control horses but they need the help of the horse owners to identify the cases early and notifying their veterinarian. There is no cost to the owner for enrolling the horse in the laminitis study.
Horse owners need to identify cases of acute laminitis rapidly to minimize the life-threatening and long-term hoof damage of this serious disease. Any horse that exhibits acute change of gait or stance should trigger the owner to call their veterinarian. Acute laminitis horses often are reluctant to come to their food, are difficult to lead, or are noted to not be moving around normally in the pasture.
"Veterinarian and horse owner involvement is extremely important to the success of this project and to advancing the future diagnosis and treatment of equine laminitis," Coleman said. "While only veterinarians are permitted to submit the data, horse owners are encouraged to alert their veterinarians to cases of laminitis that could be included in the study."
For additional information on the PEAL study, visit the study website at www.vetmed.tamu.edu/laminitis.
The Laminitis Research Project Advisory Board includes: James Belknap, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS; Lawrence Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS; Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM (Principal Investigator) TAMU CVM; Michelle Coleman, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (Study Coordinator) TAMU CVM; Susan Eades, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Bryan Fraley, DVM; Hannah Galantino-Homer, VMD, PhD; Raymond Geor, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Robert Hunt, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS; Molly McCue, DVM, MS, PhD; C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, DSc, Dipl. ACVS; Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS ; John Peroni, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS; Hugh Townsend, DVM, MSc, BSc; and Nathaniel White II, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.