Additional Proof That Corticosteroids Don’t Increase Laminitis Risk For Horses

Drs. Katya Potter, Kim Stevens and Nicola Menzies-Gow have completed a study that challenges the belief that corticosteroids increased a horse’s risk of developing laminitis. The scientists note that the concern of laminitis is based on only a handful of reports, though multiple studies have been done dispelling the notion that all horses given corticosteroids are at risk of the painful hoof condition.

The veterinarians reviewed case histories of 410 horses that had been treated at two equine clinics. Half of the horses had received standard doses of corticosteroids as part of their treatment protocol; the other 205 were “control” horses that were treated at the clinic, but did not receive corticosteroids. The scientists recorded the age, breed, sex and medical history of each horse and then noted if the horse developed laminitis in the two weeks after treatment. They found that only four of the 410 horses developed laminitis: two that had received corticosteroids and two that had not.

They also completed a second part of the study where they collected the same information on 1,565 horses treated at both clinics with corticosteroids. They found that 10 horses developed laminitis, meaning that less than 1 percent of horses given corticosteroids developed laminitis.

The researchers determined that this is no higher an incidence than the general equine population; the risk of developing laminitis was similar whether they had been treated with corticosteroids or not. However, the study revealed some similarities among the horses that developed laminitis: Some had previously developed laminitis or were obese; others had equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID). Many of those who developed laminitis were ponies.

The scientists note that it is impossible to determine if the administration of corticosteroids contributed to the occurrence of laminitis—it is just as likely that they developed laminitis because of other risk factors, and it’s just is coincidence that it occurred while the horse was being treated with corticosteroids.

The team reminds owners who have a horse that is overweight or has an endocrine disorder that they should be cautious about laminitis year-round, not just when the horse is receiving corticosteroids.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

The post Additional Proof That Corticosteroids Don’t Increase Laminitis Risk For Horses appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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