Halting Laminitis

Prevention And Management Strategies For Acute And Chronic Laminitis

Pictured Above: Separation of laminae from the hoof wall allows room for the coffin bone to rotate. This can lead to the coffin bone penetrating the sole.

Laminitis likely can’t be cured by the time the intricate structures of the hoof degrade, it’s impossible to reverse the damage. That means that prevention, early detection and stopping progression of the disease are critical.

Responding to the slightest changes only apparent on radiographs should be acted upon, says Andrew van Eps, BVCS, Ph.D., associate professor of musculoskeletal research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center.

“A roughening of the dorsal aspect of P3 on X-ray and a change in the morphology of the tip of P3, where it turns into more like a little ski jump, these are some of the subtle changes that you see even before you see rotation,” he said.

Farrier Takeaways

  • There is no cure for laminitis. Prevention, early detection and management are the best course of action.
  • Lowering the temperature of the hoof can halt the progression of laminitis.
  • The number of days a horse was lame determines the number of weeks it needs to be confined for best recovery.

Management practices and medication in addition to corrective shoeing play an important role in halting the progression of laminitis. The good news is that laminitis is a priority among researchers. Current studies offer promise through the appropriate implementations of therapies specifically aimed at addressing the underlying cause in different forms of laminitis.

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Katie navarra

Katie Navarra

Katie Navarra is a freelance writer who draws from her experiences owning and showing horses, and inter­viewing the industry’s leading pro­fessionals.

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