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Severity and outcome of equine pasture-associated laminitis managed in first opinion practice in the UK
  1. N. J. Menzies-Gow, MA, VetMB, PhD, DipECEIM, CertEM(IntMed), MRCVS1,
  2. K. Stevens, MScAgric, BScAgric1,
  3. A. Barr, MA, VetMB, PhD, DVR, DEO, DipECVS, MRCVS2,
  4. I. Camm, BVSC, CertEP, MRCVS3,
  5. D. Pfeiffer, DrMedVet, PhD, MACVSc, DipECVPH1 and
  6. C. M. Marr, BVMS, MVM, PhD, DipECEIM, DEIM, MRCVS4
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU
  3. 3 Bushy Equine Vets, Breadstone, Berkeley, Gloucestershire GL13 9HG
  4. 4 Rossdales Equine Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Cotton End Road, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7NN
  1. E-mail for correspondence: nmenziesgow{at}


Data from 107 cases of pasture-associated laminitis were obtained from first opinion practices to study factors associated with severity, survival and return to ridden exercise. There were 43 mares and 64 geldings, with a median age of 11 years. Of the 107 animals, 33 were small ponies, 45 were large ponies/cobs, 17 were small horses and 12 were large horses. Ninety-seven animals were categorised as having laminitis as defined by Cripps and Eustace 1999): 76 had mild (Obel grade 1 or 2) laminitis and 31 had severe (Obel grade 3 or 4) laminitis. Forty-three animals had previously had laminitis, and were significantly less likely (P=0.02) to have severe laminitis than those that had not. Eighty-nine animals were overweight, and there was a trend (P=0.09) towards severe laminitis cases having a higher body mass index. Eight weeks after disease onset, 102 animals were alive. Lower bodyweight, optimal body condition, mild laminitis and category of acute/chronic founder as defined by Cripps and Eustace (1999) were significantly associated with survival. There was a trend (P=0.06) towards treatment with acepromazine being associated with survival. Of the 81 animals that were used for riding, 48 were being ridden again; this was 2.6 times more likely in animals without previous laminitis. The clinical outcome was judged by a panel of three veterinarians as ‘good’ in 77 of 107 of cases. Clinical outcome was significantly associated (P=0.03) with horse type: the outcome was ‘bad’ in none of the small horses, compared with 15 of 45 large ponies/cobs, 11 of 33 small ponies and three of 12 large horses.

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