Study launched to investigate horse owners' knowledge of laminitis

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Equine welfare is set to be improved by a PhD study into the chronic condition of laminitis, say researchers.

The study, being conducted by a team at the Royal Veterinary College, seeks to investigate horse carers’ current knowledge of laminitis to understand factors influencing what horse carers’ do to prevent and manage the condition.

It'll also explore the challenges people face in accessing the best information and adopting appropriate prevention measures.

Previous research has mainly focused on identifying different factors that contribute to the development of laminitis.

The study is being conducted by epidemiologist and PhD student Chantil Sinclair, supervised by Dr Jackie Cardwell and Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow from the Royal Veterinary College, and Dr Carrie Roder from Anglia Ruskin University. 

The team will be working in collaboration with equine feed company SPILLERS® and WALTHAM®, who provide the science underpinning the brand.

Chantil Sinclair said: “My key objective is to understand the decision-making process surrounding caring for horses. In order to improve equine welfare, we first need to establish the level of existing knowledge that horse owners have about how the risk of laminitis can be reduced.

"We can then hope to build on this and identify the specific barriers which prevent awareness and implementation of best practice.

“The ultimate aim is to improve equine welfare through improved communication between researchers and horse carers, and the promotion of evidence-based horse care practices.”

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