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Experts Meet to Tackle Equine Lameness Research

American Association of Equine Practitioners

On Aug. 1, 2007, the AAEP Foundation hosted a Lameness Research Meeting and Panel in Fort Collins, Colo. Twenty-four researchers and lameness experts from around the world met to prioritize future lameness research needs. The group also explored specific questions about the direction and cost of future lameness projects.

Discussions by participants identified numerous lameness areas that require more research with significant financial resources necessary to complete the needed research. The incidence and economic importance of specific diseases is not known; however, this information is needed to help prioritize research funding. At the same time studies, which track these diseases, can help define the risk factors. These risks once identified can be used to devise preventive measures to decrease incidence and morbidity. It is apparent that veterinary specialists, practitioners and researchers in specific areas of lameness such as joint disease, kinematics, imaging and therapeutics will need to collaborate to tackle the problems listed by the panel. In some cases, more specific panel discussions will be necessary to further focus the priorities.

The concept of the 2007 Lameness Research Meeting and Panel was developed by the AAEP Foundation Advisory Committee. Similar to other research panels organized by the AAEP Foundation, the lameness meeting and panel was designed to share collective knowledge, current studies and future plans among a diverse group of equine lameness researchers to help develop strategic priorities to most effectively and economically address important diseases that cause lameness. Furthermore, the panel was challenged to develop plans for collaboration between investigators and to identify specific priorities in lameness research for the next 5-10 years.

Please visit the "In the Spotlight" section of the AAEP Foundation Web site at to see the complete 2007 Lameness Meeting and Panel report.

This research meeting and panel would not have been possible without the support of the following sponsors: AQHA Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, IDEXX Laboratories, and Morris Animal Foundation. This cooperative effort is helping to identify priorities for the equine industry and will benefit the owner, veterinarian, supporting industries and, most importantly, the horse.

The AAEP Foundation, Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization, was created in 1994 as the charitable arm of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The AAEP Foundationís mission is to improve the health and welfare of the horse through support of research, education, benevolence and the equine community.