Veterinarians at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine have announced plans to conduct the first clinical trial of an experimental drug that has shown promise in treating horses stricken with laminitis, an excruciatingly painful and often life-threatening foot-related disease.
Four horses suffering from laminitis have been treated with the investigational anti-inflammatory drug so far. One experienced a complete remission that has lasted for more than a year, and three others have shown some improvement.
A paper on the first laminitis case has been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed Journal of Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. The paper is expected to be published in the journal’s February issue, but journal editors authorized the authors to disclose their findings ahead of publication.
“This is an unusual step for us to announce this so far in advance, but because euthanasia is often the only way to alleviate pain in severe laminitis, we felt that it was important to let the veterinarians and horse owners know that this compound has shown potential as a treatment,” said Alonso Guedes, an assistant professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine.