Equine laminitis induced with oligofructose

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Abstract

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.

Objectives:

To determine whether alimentary administration of OF induces laminitis.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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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