Vaccine For Carbohydrate-Induced Laminitis Shows Promise

Laminitis is one of the most common losses of life in horses. In an effort to thwart the onset, equine surgeon Dr. David Wilson, who is a professor of large animal surgery at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, has developed a vaccine that could have the potential to protect horses from the devastating effects from ever occurring.

There are a variety of reasons laminitis presents, including physical trauma, poor hoof maintenance and carbohydrate overload, among others. Wilson and his research team focused on laminitis caused by carbohydrate overload. The vaccine created by Wilson and his research group targets gastrointestinal upset that is caused by eating too much rich grass or concentrate with high levels of carbohydrates.

The creation of the vaccine was based on widely accepted research which confirmed that an excess consumption of grain leads to the presence of streptococcal bacteria, which then produces exotoxins. It is also known that two specific exotoxins can cause the degradation of the hoof's basement membrane.

“Once the membrane can no longer hold the hoof together, there is no structural support for the coffin bone, which then rotates or sinks within the hoof – a very painful process for the animal,” said Wilson in a Horse Journals article.

Wilson explained that in experiments in which one put a piece of normal hoof into a testing machine and pulled the bone away from the hoof tissue, the bone fractures, however during the onset of laminitis, when the hoof is exposed to the exotoxins, the bone easily detaches from the hoof tissue.

Those findings led Wilson and his team to create a streptococcal exotoxin vaccine. To test the vaccine, the group induced carbohydrate overload to two groups of horses, a control group and one that had been given the vaccine. Results showed that the vaccine prevented the onset of laminitis symptoms in 80% of the horses.

Read more at Horse Journals.

The post Vaccine For Carbohydrate-Induced Laminitis Shows Promise appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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