University of Tennessee seeks overweight, laminitic horses


Researchers at the University of Tennessee are asking people to donate their horses to research. The researchers are looking for overweight or cresty-necked horses that suffer from founder (laminitis). The researchers are studying new ways of managing insulin resistance and preventing laminitis in horses. 

Donation of your horse will result in a permanent transfer of ownership of the animal. Interested owners should note that the value of the donated horse can be listed as a charitable contribution for tax purposes up to $5,000.
Procedures used in the research studies will be minimally invasive and all work will be approved and monitored by the University of Tennessee Institutional Care and Use Committee. 

Studies will be conducted by Dr. Nicholas Frank, a veterinarian and associate professor at the University of Tennessee.  You can contact Dr. Frank via e-mail at or Sarah Elliott (research technician) at (865) 974-5701 if you are interested in donating your horse.  However, please take note of the following conditions:

1. Horses:
a. Must be a gelding (preferred) or mare.  Stallions cannot be accepted.
b. Must be between 3 and 25 years of age
c. Must be overweight and/or have a thick, cresty neck or fat pads

Horses with a history of laminitis (founder) are preferred. Horses with high blood insulin levels also make ideal candidates.

2. Morgan horses, Paso Finos and Arabians are preferred. Ponies, draft horses, Miniature horses, mules and donkeys cannot be accepted.   

3. Horses must be donated to the University of Tennessee with complete release of ownership.

4. Horses cannot be purchased, but shipping expenses will be paid if necessary.

5. Donated horses will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2007.

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