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Case-control study of risk factors for pasture-and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis in North American horses

Michelle C. Coleman DVM, PhD1, Jim K. Belknap DVM, PhD2, Susan C. Eades DVM, PhD3, Hannah L. Galantino-Homer VMD, PhD4, Robert J. Hunt DVM, MS5, Ray J. Geor DVM, PhD6, Molly E. McCue DVM, PhD7, C. Wayne McIlwraith BVSc, PhD8, Rustin M. Moore DVM, PhD9, John F. Peroni DVM, MS10, Hugh G. Townsend DVM, MSc11, Nathaniel A. White DVM, MS12, Kevin J. Cummings DVM, PhD13, Renata Ivanek-Miojevic DVM, PhD14, and Noah D. Cohen VMD, MPH, PhD15
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 20803.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Studies–New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19104.
  • | 5 Hag yard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.
  • | 6 College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
  • | 8 Orthopedic Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
  • | 9 Office of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 10 Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
  • | 11 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.
  • | 12 Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Leesburg, VA 20176.
  • | 13 Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 14 Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 15 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate risk factors for the development of pasture- and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis (PEAL) in horses and ponies in North America.

DESIGN Case-control study.

ANIMALS 199 horses with incident cases of PEAL and 351 horses from 2 control populations (healthy horses [n = 198] and horses with lameness not caused by laminitis [153]) that were evaluated in North America between January 2012 and December 2015 by veterinarian members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

PROCEDURES North American members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners were contacted to participate in the study, and participating veterinarians provided historical data on incident cases of PEAL, each matched with a healthy control and a lameness control. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compare data on PEAL-affected horses with data on horses from each set of controls.

RESULTS Horses with an obese body condition (ie, body condition score ≥ 7), generalized or regional adiposity (alone or in combination), preexisting endocrinopathy, or recent (within 30 days) glucocorticoid administration had increased odds of developing PEAL, compared with horses that did not have these findings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The present study identified several risk factors for PEAL that may assist not only in managing and preventing this form of laminitis, but also in guiding future research into its pathogenesis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate risk factors for the development of pasture- and endocrinopathy-associated laminitis (PEAL) in horses and ponies in North America.

DESIGN Case-control study.

ANIMALS 199 horses with incident cases of PEAL and 351 horses from 2 control populations (healthy horses [n = 198] and horses with lameness not caused by laminitis [153]) that were evaluated in North America between January 2012 and December 2015 by veterinarian members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

PROCEDURES North American members of the American Association of Equine Practitioners were contacted to participate in the study, and participating veterinarians provided historical data on incident cases of PEAL, each matched with a healthy control and a lameness control. Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compare data on PEAL-affected horses with data on horses from each set of controls.

RESULTS Horses with an obese body condition (ie, body condition score ≥ 7), generalized or regional adiposity (alone or in combination), preexisting endocrinopathy, or recent (within 30 days) glucocorticoid administration had increased odds of developing PEAL, compared with horses that did not have these findings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The present study identified several risk factors for PEAL that may assist not only in managing and preventing this form of laminitis, but also in guiding future research into its pathogenesis.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 92 kb)
    • Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 130 kb)
    • Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 102 kb)
    • Supplementary Table S3 (PDF 124 kb)

Contributor Notes

Dr. Eades' present address is Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. Dr. Ivanek-Miojevic's present address is Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 12853.

Address correspondence to Dr. Coleman (mcoleman@cvm.tamu.edu).