Ponies needed for a free MOT
Pasture-associated laminitis is a common, but potentially life-threatening disease which causes a great deal of pain and suffering. 400 ponies are needed for an important study.
At the Royal Veterinary College we are trying to determine why certain individual ponies and horses appear to be predisposed to repeated episodes of the disease. At present there is no diagnostic test available to identify such animals before the disease occurs.
If such a test was available it would allow the appropriate management changes to be implemented in advance, hopefully preventing disease occurrence.
We have examined the usefulness of the dexamethasone suppression test (DST), a test normally used to diagnose Equine Cushing's Disease, to identify animals prone to recurrent laminitis. Studies involving animals already suffering from recurrent laminitis appear promising. However, we now need to evaluate the performance of the test in animals which have not previously had laminitis. We will then follow them over the next 3 years and compare the results between those that stay laminitis-free and those that subsequently get the disease.
Hopefully this will then enable us to use this as a test to diagnose laminitis susceptibility.
We are looking to recruit ponies 7 years old or older with no history of laminitis (as far as you are aware) to our study.
We will then visit the pony and carry out a general health check, including a physical examination and a routine blood screen, as well as performing the DST. The DST involves taking a blood sample on day one, injecting a small amount of corticosteroid into the muscle and then taking a second blood sample the next day.
We will provide you with copies of all the results and liaise with your vet if any problems are detected. There is no cost to you for any of this and your pony benefits by getting a health MOT.
We will then keep in touch with you over the next 3 years by telephone to find out whether the pony has suffered for any episodes of laminitis. It does not matter if you think the pony may not be still with you that long as long as you can let us know where they have gone.
If you own or have on your yard 5 or more suitable ponies which are kept in Herts/Beds/Bucks/Surrey/Essex then please contact Nicola Menzies-Gow via email (email@example.com) or telephone (01707 666297).
Ideally, we are looking to recruit 400 ponies in total, so any help is greatly appreciated.
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