USAET Supports AAEP Foundation Laminitis Research Project

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from the USA Equestrian Trust (USAET) to support The Laminitis Research Project.

Launched in 2011, The Laminitis Research Project aims to establish foundational research to find veterinary solutitons for laminitis in horses. The project's first study, "A Case-Control Study of Pasture- and Endocrinopathy-Associated Laminitis (PEAL) in Horses," is currently underway. Researchers at Texas A&M University are collecting data for a study designed to examine causes of acute laminitis (an inflammation of the sensitive laminae that connect the horse's hoof to the coffin bone) in horses. Researchers hope to release initial results of the on-going study in August of 2013.

The AAEP Foundation has identified epidemiologic studies of laminitis as the highest priority for investigation. Subsequently, the Foundation established a Laminitis Research Advisory Board, and principal investigator Noah Cohen, VMD, MPH, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, developed an investigation strategy with the board.

The first study is designed to collect data from naturally occurring first-time cases of acute laminitis not caused by colic, infection or excessive weight-bearing on one limb (supporting limb laminitis). The study is aimed at collecting data from AAEP-member equine veterinarians from the United States and Canada.

The AAEP Foundation secured initial funding from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and other donors to support the current epidemiologic study.

"This support from the USAET adds to the credibility of this project and the importance it hopefully will have on the health and welfare of horses affected by this deadly disease," said AAEP Foundation Chairman C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR. "We can't thank the members of the Trust enough for their support of The Laminitis Research Project."

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