New Scale Makes It Easier To Track Progress In Endocrine-Related Laminitis Cases

Laminitis can be an insidious disease, sometimes coming on so subtly that indications are missed until horses are blatantly lame. The ability to grade lameness according to its severity can be helpful to determine if a treatment is working and to assess the efficacy of new treatments.

A scale had previously been developed to describe levels of lameness in horses that have laminitis from a specific episode, like starch overload or sepsis, but this scale wasn’t necessarily applicable to horses that have laminitis caused by chronic endocrine disorders, which are common in overweight horses.

Dr. Alexandra Meier and a research team created a method for grading endocrine-induced laminitis. Called the Meier Scale, it uses five symptoms to determine severity of lameness: palpation of digital pulse, gait at the walk, weight shifting, response to lifting the foot and gait while turning in a circle.

To test the scale, the research team used 80 horses and ponies with endocrinopathic laminitis that were referred to 16 veterinary practices in Germany. Independent veterinarians assessed the severity of laminitis using the original scale and the new Meier scale. The vets assessed the horses on the day of diagnosis and again on days four, nine, 14, 25 and 42. Pain medication was withheld for 24 hours before the exams took place.

The scientists found that patient improvement was difficult to determine using the older method, but the Meier method was able to identify more subtle changes. The team also noted that there was significant variation in improvement of each clinical sign; for example, the horses remained lame when asked to turn in a circle for much longer than they shifted weight.

The researchers conclude that the Meier method provides a reliable and consistent method for monitoring endocrinopathic laminitis and its potential response to treatments.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post New Scale Makes It Easier To Track Progress In Endocrine-Related Laminitis Cases appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.