Equine laminitis induced with oligofructose

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Reasons for performing study:

Experimental induction of equine laminitis with a reliable and clinically relevant model should facilitate understanding of the disease. Successful induction with oligofructose (OF) could link pasture consumption to laminitis.


To determine whether alimentary administration of OF induces laminitis.


Twelve horses were dosed with OF and 6 received a sham (placebo) treatment. Clinical observations were made and blood collected at 4 h intervals over a 48 h study period. Stained sections of the hoof wall lamellae, examined by light microscopy, were graded for laminitis severity.


All horses administered OF, but no sham-treated controls, developed clinical and histological laminitis.

Conclusions and potential relevance:

Alimentary overload with OF is a valid induction model for studying the pathogenesis of laminitis. A link is therefore established between field cases of laminitis and pasture fructan content.

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