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Horse Owners Urged to Mark National CARE Day

10 February 2016

UK - Debilitating equine disease, laminitis, can affect any horse regardless of age, size or breed. As part of National CARE Day (10 February) people who own horses are asked to report data from their horses to help this national study.

Equine laminitis is a complex disease which affects the structure and correct function of the horse’s foot, resulting in debilitating pain.

PhD student Dee Pollard reports: “Equine laminitis is ranked as one of the top health concerns by both owners and vets. Most horse owners will have either had experience of laminitis themselves or will know of someone who has. Laminitis is a major welfare concern because affected horses are much more likely to have multiple recurrent episodes, which can be life-threatening. Despite this, a knowledge gap still exists regarding the true frequency of this condition in Britain, as well as how to best prevent it.”

The CARE study, undertaken by the Animal Health Trust and Royal Veterinary College, funded by World Horse Welfare and supported by Rossdales Equine Hospital, aims to help unite the equine community to shed light on laminitis.

And, on National CARE Day, Dee is asking all horse owners to get involved: “We need a collaborative effort by all horse owners, professionals and researchers to both raise awareness about laminitis and, in time, to help make early recognition of laminitis less deceptive.

“On National CARE Day we are calling on everyone who loves horses to join us in sharing our images and video on their website and social media, encouraging all of their horse-owning friends and supporters to register for CARE.”

CARE is the first and largest web-based equine study in Britain. Its mission is to determine how common laminitis is and which equine lifestyle factors affect its development by asking CARE members to submit regular information about their equines’ health and management online. Participation is open to all types, ages, sizes and breeds of horses/ponies, whether or not they have ever had laminitis.

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