Research done by Queensland University of Technology has discovered a drug that may help prevent or treat laminitis in ponies and horses.
Laminitis is a problem where the laminae of the hoof becomes inflammed, often affecting multiple hooves at the same time. There are many potential causes of laminitis, including obesity, insulin resistance, and ingestion of large quantities of high sugar feed. It is a painful disease that affects 1 in 5 horses and can result in euthanasia.
“QUT Professor Martin Sillence, from QUT's School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, said a new veterinary drug related to one used to treat human metabolic syndrome has been found to prevent laminitis in ponies with the equine version of metabolic syndrome. “
The team, lead by Prof. Sillence, found that when ponies and horses over-eat energy-dense pastures or feeds, it leads to a large release of glucose. This results in their pancreas over-producing insulin, creating insulin toxicity which impacts the connective tissue in the hooves, resulting in laminitis.
Controlled trials have been performed in Queensland and more clinical trials are taking place in Europe, so hopefully we will see this medication available soon.
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SOURCE CITATION: Queensland University of Technology. "Giddy up: Help for plump ponies is fast on its way: Researchers have found a drug that prevents laminitis in ponies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180926110933.htm>