Prevalence of supporting limb laminitis in a UK equine practice and referral hospital setting between 2005 and 2013: implications for future epidemiological studies

Vet Rec. 2015 Jan 17;176(3):72. doi: 10.1136/vr.102426. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


The electronic patient records of all equine patients of Rossdales Equine Practice between January 1, 2005 and November 1, 2013 were reviewed to determine the number of cases of supporting limb laminitis (SLL) in a large equine practice and referral hospital setting in the UK and to discuss the implications for future epidemiological studies. The clinical notes were searched electronically for a combination of 'laminitis AND (contralateral OR supporting OR overload OR weight bearing)'. The prevalence of SLL within each identified denominator population and the corresponding 95% CI were calculated. SLL developed in nine horses, one donkey and one pony. Thoroughbreds were the most commonly affected breed (72.7 per cent, CI 46.4 to 99.1 per cent), aged 2-14 years (median six years), and only mares (n=9) and stallions (n=2) were represented. SLL was not restricted to horses that were non-weightbearing lame, it developed within 4-100 days after injury (median 14.5 days) and occurred most commonly in a forelimb (54.6 per cent, CI 25.1 to 84.0 per cent). During the same time frame, a total of 65,327 horses were registered with Rossdales Equine Practice, resulting in an overall practice prevalence of SLL of 0.02 per cent (CI 0.01 to 0.03 per cent). Future epidemiological studies to investigate risk factors for SLL prevention will, therefore, be a logistical challenge.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Foot Diseases / epidemiology
  • Foot Diseases / veterinary*
  • Forecasting
  • Horse Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Horses
  • Hospitals, Animal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Inflammation / veterinary*
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Weight-Bearing