Study: Obese horses at greater danger of laminitis

May 16, 2009
By staff
Great Britain -- Veterinarians already are aware that obese animals face more health challenges, but a new study has cemented the fact that obese horses are more likely to die from laminitis.

The British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation and Merial Animal Health sponsored a study to examine laminitis more closely and what factors affect recovery from the condition. The British Equine Veterinary Association documented laminitis cases over four years and found that obese horses with laminitis suffer more sever symptoms.

"When laminitis does occur, overweight animals are more likely to die of the disease than their thinner counterparts," says Dr. Celia Marr, principal investigator and a veterinary surgeon. She adds that the best outcomes in the study involves horses who were treated with acepromazine, which improves blood supply to the foot and relaxes the animal.