The Royal Veterinary College has announced a new doctorate post studying equine laminitis risk factors, including diet and seasonal change.

The Royal Veterinary College has announced a new doctorate post studying risk factors for equine laminitis.

Hertfordshire vet Liz FindingHertfordshire-based vet Elizabeth Finding will spend her four-year PhD investigating why some horses are more prone to laminitis than others. She hopes to develop novel methods to assess changes in blood flow to the hoof and the affects of diet and seasonal change on the condition.

Miss Finding will also be comparing innovative markers of blood vessel health between laminitic animals and those that are and are not prone to laminitis.

She said: “We hypothesise that ponies prone to laminitis have a dysfunction of the cells lining the blood vessels. This may make them less effective in generating mediators, which normally continuously dilate blood vessels and thus protect against the blood vessel constriction.

“It is thought that abnormal constriction may be initiated by the ingestion of too much rich grass especially under adverse environmental conditions.’’  

Miss Finding’s PhD is being supported by the International Laminitis Consortium, a global body of equine vets and nutritionists including Jonathan Elliott of the RVC, Pat Harris of the Waltham Equine Studies Group and Clare Barfoot of Mars Horsecare UK Ltd.

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