At the heart of the Grazing Risk Monitoring Service is a computer system that gathers weather data from hundreds of weather stations sited around the country. For each location, historical weather data is analysed and processed to produce a risk index. It is this index that is presented in the Laminitis App for your chosen location.
The focus of this project has been to utilise existing research and to create a computer model that can simulate the conditions that cause grass (C3 Cool Grass) to become stressed and as a result pose a higher grazing risk.
Throughout the development of the service, we have tested the predicted risk against confirmed cases of laminitis using data collected throughout the UK and in some cases from abroad. Every case that we examine, provides us with a means to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of the predictions made.
The following case study is based on a pony that has sadly suffered from laminitis annually. Unfortunately in 2011 it suffered two laminitic episodes, the first time in June and the second in October. Looking at the Laminitis Risk Chart below there are two stress peaks highlighted on the time-line. For this pony it showed signs of laminitis 48 hours after the peak. We have found it usual for a shod horse to show signs at approximately 48 hours after the stress peak and a horse that is barefoot, within 24 hours.
This product has been designed to build awareness amongst horse owners that stressed grass poses an unforeseen risk throughout the year and not just at Spring and Autumn. It is hoped that the Laminitis App will be used as an everyday tool in conjunction with correct animal husbandry as it is important to understand that there are many other factors that can contribute or cause laminitis in horses (e.g. obesity).