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Monday, December 7, 2015

Researchers seek cure for deadly laminitis hoof disease in horses.

team of ponies has been helping Australian researchers search for the cause and cure for the costly, common and incurable equine disease, laminitis.The disease is the second-biggest killer of horses, a painful and potentially deadly hoof condition that affects thousands of horses a year.The groundbreaking research triggered a joint multi-million-dollar project by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the University of Queensland, Melbourne University and Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.The science has returned positive results and researchers said a preventative treatment could be within reach. The cause of the disease was hotly debated,until 5 years ago when high insulin levels are to blame. Professor Sillence has headed the team that has proved that in most cases, high insulin levels are to blame.He said in horses prone to laminitis, or founder as it is more commonly known, sweet feed was shown to trigger toxic levels of the hormone.The most common form of laminitis that affects ponies and horses that are on rich pasture, is certainly down to excess levels of insulin in the blood - it's like human diabetes," he said. Professor Sillence said genetic predisposition, over-feeding and a lack of exercise also played a part. "The difference is the horses' pancreas never fails and pumps out massive amounts of insulin until it causes this devastating result, which is when the hooves start to come apart from the legs," he said. Case study; Horse owner Errol Maudsley said he always suspected his daughter's pony, Coco, might have been prone to founder because of his round stature.He said they had always managed him accordingly."We lock him up and restrict how much he eats, but after all the rain he caught us out and he actually foundered - it's just access to so much feed," he said. In Coco's case, it was caught early and treated, but Mr Maudsley said management would be ongoing."Forever - now that we know he's prone - we'll have to watch him all the time," he said. read more here;