Lameness experts ID research priorities at AAEP session

Lameness experts ID research priorities at AAEP session

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Sep 01, 2007

FORT COLLINS, COLO. — Two dozen of the nation's top experts in equine medicine identified five key areas of lameness research that should get priority attention during the next five to 10 years.

The 24 researchers made up what was formally titled a "Blue Ribbon Panel" to share collective knowledge, current and future plans at a lameness research meeting and panel discussion Aug. 1 in Fort Collins, Colo., hosted by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation.

The special one-day session followed the AAEP's annual continuing-education meetings — Focus on Lameness and Imaging 2007 and the 15th annual Practice Management Seminar — over the two previous days.

During a morning session, about 100 practitioners, sponsor representatives and visitors heard 12 panelists present brief abstracts on diagnosis, anesthesia, gait analysis, force-plate analysis, epidemiology, bone remodeling, joints, tendon injury, NSAIDS, corticostreroids, stem cells and alternative therapy.

The afternoon session was limited to 24 researchers and invited guests. The researchers broke into five subject groups — to share knowledge, work-in-progress and plans on lameness diagnosis and treatment; imaging; bone and foot issues; joints, tendons and ligaments; and kinetics and prevention.

Those five areas are expected to have priority in lameness research over the next five to 10 years, says Dr. Nathaniel White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, who coordinated the event along with Dr. Rick Mitchell, DVM, of Fairfield Equine Associates in Connecticut.

"The whole program emphasized the need for more epidemiological studies, not just on prevalence, but looking at risk factors," according to White, the Jean Ellen Shehan professor and director at Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center.

The special meeting was supported through donations by industry partners Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. and IDEXX Laboratories Inc., and three equine foundations: AQHA Foundation, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation.