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Prednisolone and laminitis

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Jordan, Ireland, and Rendle (2015) reviewed ambulatory practice records over 13 years. Horses that had received oral prednisolone (416 horses) were compared with horses (814) that had not received prednisolone treatment. Various breeds, gelding, mare, stallions were used and the median age was 13 years.

Prednisolone and laminitis

The study examined overall laminitis incidence rate and laminitis rate during prednisolone treatment. Jordan, Ireland, and Rendle (2015) revealed “there was no statistically significant difference between the prednisolone treated and non-treated groups during the treatment period” (p.298).

The treated horses received prednisolone for numerous disease conditions and the study demonstrated no correlation between reason for treatment and laminitis risk. Interestingly, there were 32 incidents of laminitis in the control group (non-prednisolone). In the prednisolone treated horses, there were 16 laminitis incidents, 7 of these incidents occurred during the prednisolone treatment period.

There were 32 horses which developed laminitis in the non-treated group and 16 horses developed laminitis in the treated group. Interestingly, 6 of the horses, which developed laminitis in the treated group, had underlying pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID/Cushings) or equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).

Jordan, Ireland, and Rendle (2015) state “There was no significant difference in the prevalence of these endocrine conditions between the treated and non-treated groups, but across both groups of horses with PPID or EMS had a significantly higher incidence of laminitis compared to horses without endocrine disorders” (p. 298).

The overall summary of prednisolone treatment was that oral prednisolone treatment did not increase the risk of laminitis in the Jordan, Ireland, and Rendle (2015) study.

Contact Arizona Equine today for more questions relating to Prednisolone and laminitis.


Jordan, V.J., Ireland, J.L., and Rendle, D.I. (2015). Does oral prednisolone treatment increase the incidence of acute laminitis? Equine Vet J. 28 (6) p.297 -298. doi: 10.1111/evj.12565

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