Equinescienceupdate.com - Full Article
Hormonal disturbance (endocrinopathy) appears to be a common underlying cause of laminitis according to research from Finland.
The study, conducted between April 2007 and August 2008 at Helsinki University Equine Teaching Hospital, looked for signs of endocrinopathy in all cases of laminitis presented for examination. Almost 90% of horses with laminitis had endocrine abnormalities.
Hyperinsulinaemia, associated with obesity was the most common cause, accounting for two thirds of all cases of endocrinopathic laminitis. Cushing’s disease (or Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction: PPID) was responsible for a third of the endocrine-associated laminitis cases.
Dr Ninja Karikoski and colleagues examined 36 horses and ponies with laminitis. Thirty-two of them (89%) had signs of endocrinopathy.
A full report of the research has been published in the journal Domestic Animal Endocrinopathy.
Eleven horses had signs of PPID - hirsutism (long curly coat) and increased basal ACTH concentration or typical response to a dexamethasone suppression test.
Twenty-one horses had raised basal levels of insulin in the blood without signs of hirsutism. All but one of these hyperinsulinaemic horses were overweight. Twelve had a body condition score (BCS) of four, (on a scale from zero to five, where five is obese) and eight had BCS of five...
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