The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is seeking veterinarians from around the world to participate in a laminitis study in 2014.

Laminitis (a hoof disease in which the interlocking leaflike tissues called laminae anchoring the coffin bone within the hoof become inflamed and fail to support the bone) is a disease that does not discriminate: Aged, young, healthy, or sick horses can all fall prey to it. Fortunately, researchers have determined laminitis’ major risk factors well-enough that horse owners can now try to prevent disease onset when a risk has been identified.

Preventive strategies vary widely as well and can include long-term (such as weight loss and exercise for an insulin resistant pony) or short-term efforts (such as pre-emptive cryotherapy in a case of retained fetal membranes). However, determining these preventive measures’ success is difficult, and veterinarians are challenged to assess whether their efforts are actually reducing laminitis incidence.

So if we fail to divert this devastating condition, what is the likelihood of it recurring repeatedly after an initial episode? Currently, a lack of targeted research makes this a difficult question to answer. Common sense tells us that each episode of the disease is likely to weaken the lamellar structure and make further recurrence more likely. But what about other risk factors for recurrence?

Researchers at QUT have instituted a worldwide study to determine which management strategies put in place after an initial laminitis case are most successful, what factors influence the likelihood of success, and more. The QUT Laminitis Survey’s goal is to ide