Article Text

Epidemiological study of pasture-associated laminitis and concurrent risk factors in the South of England
  1. N. J. Menzies-Gow, MA, VetMB, PhD, DipECEIM, CertEM, MRCVS1,
  2. L. M. Katz, DVM, MSc, PhD, DipACVIM, DipECEIM, MRCVS2,
  3. K. J. Barker, BVetMed, MRCVS1,
  4. J. Elliott, MA, VetMB, PhD, CertSAC, DECVPT, MRCVS2,
  5. M. N. De Brauwere, BVSc, MRCVS3,
  6. N. Jarvis, BVetMed, MRCVS3,
  7. C. M. Marr, BVMS, MVM, PhD, DipECEIM, DEIM, MRCVS1 and
  8. D. U. Pfeiffer, DrMedVet, PhD, MACVSc, DipECVPH1
  1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  2. Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Royal College Street, London NW1 OTU
  3. Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Hapton Hall Farm, Norwich NR12 7RW
  1. E-mail for correspondence nmenziesgow{at}

A retrospective study of laminitis was carried out to identify risk factors associated with this disease on an East Anglian farm with approximately 1000 animals living in an area of 1000 acres. Medical records between January 1997 and May 2000 and between April 2005 and March 2008 were reviewed, and the age, sex, weight (kg), height (inches [in] and hands [H]) and weight-to-height ratio (kg/in) was recorded. The prevalence, incidence and seasonality of laminitis were determined and their relationship to the monthly temperature, rainfall and hours of sunshine was evaluated. Averaged over the six years, the highest prevalence (2.6 per cent) and incidence (16 cases/1000 animals) of laminitis occurred in May. The findings of a multivariate analysis revealed that females (P=0.007, odds ratio [OR] 1.46, 95 per cent confidence interval [CI] 1.1053 to 1.9646) and light animals (P≤0.001, OR=0.995, 95 per cent CI =0.9932 to 0.9963) had the greatest risk of developing laminitis. A positive association was found between hours of sunshine and incidence (P=0.007, relative risk [RR] 1.009, 95 per cent CI 1.001 to 1.012) and prevalence (P=0.002, RR 1.008, 95 per cent CI 1.003 to 1.012) of laminitis. The data suggest that there is a relationship between season, sex of the animal and the development of laminitis.

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