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scientific studies of any of diseases / disorders of the equine locomotor system

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  • scientific studies of any of diseases / disorders of the equine locomotor system

    Does anyone know of any scientific studies of any of diseases / disorders of the equine locomotor system that takes account of such factors as current hoof form, hoof care history, early lifestyle etc? Even when scientists are working at the molecular level surely such data is relevant.

    I've been looking and I can't find many. Even a major study of laminitic ponies fails to mention the condition of the feet of the ponies most likely to develop laminitis - or equally importantly, those that didn't get laminitis. Not to take any account of hoof form and muscular/skeletal health in a study on laminitis - seems to have missed a vital variable.

    I am still waiting to find out if the horses used in the Guelph study were the same horses deshod for the purpose of the study and whether the researchers had any mechanism for typing, recording and correlating differences in hoof form and conformation.

    In the DSLD/EPSA study the horses from whom tissue samples were taken were mainly Pasos - and there may well be a genetic mutation that makes some lines of Pasos especially prone to breakdown of connective tissue (like heritable disorders in highly bred dogs) but it may also be that the typical patterns of managing these sort of horses (lifestyle, diet, hoofcare, workload etc) contributes to the condition becoming manifest and/or to its severity.

    A friend told me about a horse she judged a few years back with dropped hind fetlocks; he was 'sound' with egg bar shoes - ('sound' being a matter of some debate as far as she was concerned). At a canter his fetlock joint almost touched the ground; even at stanchion the pastern was almost parallel to the ground. The owner told my friend that the horse was 'born like it'; she also said that his mother had foundered after he was born and had been confined to a small pen. So, for the first 2 months of his life the foal had very limited movement and his hind limb flexor muscles, which had been very weak at birth, presumably stayed that way. The flexor muscles contain tendinous tissue - and, like all other tendinous type tissue, that must have movement and load to develop and to stay healthy. As the flexor muscles back up the suspensory and check ligaments in supporting the fetlock and coffin joints, weakness / injury to them places the ligaments under greater than normal strain.

    The hoof form on this horse was apparently the classic bull nose, low underslung heel and, when left to choose his comfortable posture, he stood with fore and hind limbs camped well under the body. That is just as indicative of discomfort in the heels as connective tissue damage - and that stance if it persists is likely to cause connective tissue damage - most obviously in the lower limbs but also the nuchal, patellar ligaments as vital parts of the stay apparatus. And who's to say if the proteoglycan accumulation in the aorta and coronary arteries isn't a symptom of cardiac stress because of impaired circulation? As to the eyes - well, what affects one lot of connective tissue may well affect it all to varying degrees.

    Let the fisking commence.

  • #2
    Does anyone know of any scientific studies of any of diseases / disorders of the equine locomotor system that takes account of such factors as current hoof form, hoof care history, early lifestyle etc?
    Have you looked at HorseAdvice.com? http://www.horseadvice.com/ They usually have a lot of scientific studies in their library, and I think I've read something of what you're talking about on that site. It is run by a veterinarian.

    Comment


    • #3
      A study was done on the Farnely ponies in relation to which lines and types of pony were more prone to laminitis. Diet and lifestyle were involved, as well as the breeding, and I believe the same farrier was used for all the horses to eliminate that variable. It was really interesting, and I wish I could find it online.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hypertension and insulin resistance in a mixed-breed population of ponies predisposed to laminitis

        Simon R. Bailey, BVMS, PhD, Jocelyn L. Habershon-Butcher, BVetMed, Kathryn J. Ransom, BVetMed, Jonathan Elliott, VetMB, PhD, Nicola J. Menzies-Gow, VetMB, PhD

        Is this the study you are referring to?

        Comment


        • #5
          I can't tell. I can't see anything more than the abstract, on any reference to that study. The one I'm talking about was specifically the ponies of the Farnley Farm.
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/short/83/13_suppl/E22

            Try this one.

            Comment


            • #7
              That one seems less likely than the first.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Where is the Farnley farm?

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Oh the joys of googling - the latter study was in Virginia also.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There have been plenty of studies relating hoof structure to laminitis, but few can look at the entire picture -- there are simply too many variables to tease out. Here are a few good ones.

                    Structure and quality of the hoof capsule of the horse before and after an orthopaedic treatment of chronic laminitis.
                    Budras. Anatomia Histologia Embryologia. v. 20. no. 3. 1991. p. 267

                    Budras, K. D. Huskamp, B. Bragulla, H. Normal and pathological structure of hoof horn and ways of improving its quality. 12. Arbeitstagung der Fachgruppe Pferdekrankheiten, Wiesbaden, 9.-10. April 1992. 1992. 49-57. 11 ref.

                    The unfettered foot: a paradigm change for equine podiatry.
                    Teskey. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. v. 25. no. 2. 2005. p. 77-83
                    http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy...4e80f05fd3f9ed

                    Hoof conformation and toe angle: influences on joint angles and lower limb strains.
                    Thompson. Equine Athlete. v. 8. no. 1. 1995. p. 1, 10-11

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No , that is the general problem - not enough follow-up studies on various treatment solutions for hoof/limb issues.

                      Dr. Teskey found when he researched his files, that over 80% if the shod horses in his practice had some sort of limb problem. I think most vets would find a similar correlation if they were to look at their files.

                      I did come across one vet study from 2002 which stated that various therapeutic shoeing approaches in laminitic horses had no affect in the laminitis progress. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492275

                      Dr. John in the UK has done more laminitis follow up work you might find interesting: http://www.johnthevet.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There aren't studies in HUMANS that are this comprehensive, let alone horses. The closest you could probably come is the Framingham Study or the Nurse's Health Study, where lifestyle is accounted for and followed for decades, and conclusions are slowly and painstakingly drawn after those factors are layered on what is gleaned from OTHER studies of whatever disease process is being looked at.

                        Horses' lives being shorter, you'd think it would be easier to collect this type of data, but there is almost no funding for this sort of thing in animals, and since self-reporting is 99% of how this kind of study is done, it's fraught with bias even in the best of circumstances.
                        Click here before you buy.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by BornToRide View Post
                          No , that is the general problem - not enough follow-up studies on various treatment solutions for hoof/limb issues.

                          Dr. Teskey found when he researched his files, that over 80% if the shod horses in his practice had some sort of limb problem. I think most vets would find a similar correlation if they were to look at their files.

                          I did come across one vet study from 2002 which stated that various therapeutic shoeing approaches in laminitic horses had no affect in the laminitis progress. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492275

                          Dr. John in the UK has done more laminitis follow up work you might find interesting: http://www.johnthevet.com/
                          The therapeutic shoe study is interesting - thanks.

                          There's an old saying that 90% of horse health problems are in the locomotor system, 90% of those are in the lower limb (ie below knee and hock) and 90% of those are in the front lower limb.

                          What irritates me are studies in which - like the lamintic pony study for example - obvious data is not collected. In the pony study the most at risk of laminitis were found to be mares, least at risk stallions and slightly less than them, the geldings. You have to wonder whether hormonal changes are a factor in the mares - and also in a positive sense in the stallions? Or are the stallions more highly prized and therefore better looked after (that's par for the course in a lot of studs frankly). Were the geldings as a group younger than the mares - they'd be the ones the stud would sell off. Is the way the different groups are kept a factor eg is bullying/food competition an issue among the mares who tend to be kept in bigger herds?

                          The most obvious thing to me though is hoof form - and even if all 170 ponies in the study were trimmed by the same farrier, that is no guarantee that the feet were all equally healthy.

                          I know there's a limit to how much data can be gathered as you can end up drowning in variables - but in a study on laminitis for heaven's sake - what's more apposite than hoof form?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I very much agree with you and also think there's a hormonal connection. Perhaps mares are more thrifty overall, while stallions tend to burn more off?? Perhaps mares stress out more easily too?

                            We have also observed that Cushings mares are harder to stabilize and I think it is also a known fact that women respond quite differently to drugs and therefore trials are often conducted on man.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You could also say "men respond differently to drugs" and be equally correct or incorrect, depending on the drug and the disease state. Being female is not a pathological condition, and men have hormones, too. Lots of them, in fact. Even geldings.

                              I wonder if geldings are generally less prone to this sort of thing because they are primarily USED as working horses, as opposed to being allowed to just stand around and reproduce? That's not to say all mares or stallions are used this way, but it's fair to say that NO geldings are, yes?
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, geldings and stallions don't have much estrogen.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  They have a little, but the point I sort of object to is the notion that when we say "hormones" we mean "female sex hormones". As if there were no other kind. Sort of a pet peeve.
                                  Click here before you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    George Myers....- but in a study on laminitis for heaven's sake - what's more apposite than hoof form?
                                    function

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