The musculoskeletal system, laminitis, and horse-side laboratory tests are areas where equine veterinarians want to see more research.
That's according to a recent study conducted by the American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation. The second study of its kind, it is meant to assess the opinions of AAEP members and assist the equine industry in directing its financial support of equine research projects. The first study was conducted in 2003.
In the 2009 AAEP Membership Equine Research Study, 59 percent of respondents indicated the musculoskeletal system was the equine body system of highest research priority. That percentage has slipped by a third since 2003, when 93 percent of respondents agreed the musculoskeletal system should be researched.
The gastrointestinal system came in second place in both studies, but the endocrine system replaced the respiratory system for third place in the newer study.
Sixty-three percent of respondents ranked laminitis as the equine disease or condition with the highest priority, with colic and arthritis ranked second and third respectively. The results mirrored those from the 2003 study, save for the third slot, which went to lameness.
Regarding new technologies that require more funding, horse-side laboratory tests (71 percent), regenerative medicine, and imaging were considered the most important. This category was not present in the 2003 study.
The 2009 study also polled members about their key sources of information for new research. Eighty-three percent of AAEP members indicate they learn new information from the AAEP Annual Convention, followed by the journal Compendium Equine, then JAVMA.
The 2009 report was sent to 6,717 members; 572 responded, which is a 10 percent increase from the 2003 report response of 515 members.
Visit www.aaepfoundation.org to view the complete study.