Research Journal: January/February 2020

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.”



Novel Laminitis Treatment

An experimental trial in Canada examined the effects of placing a bone screw through the dorsal hoof wall into the coffin bone as a way to stabilize the bone and prevent the rotation associated with laminitis. The pullout strength of the lag screw technique was first tested in cadaver specimens. Next, under general anesthesia, screws were placed through the dorsal front hoof walls of six normal horses about 1 inch distal to the coronary band. The horses were examined for signs of lameness for 4 days, after which the screws were removed and the horses were monitored for 3 additional weeks. Finally, screws were similarly placed in both front feet of 10 standing, sedated horses 24 hours after an oral oligofructose dose was administered to induce laminitis. Three control horses received the oligofructose challenge but were not treated with the dorsal hoof wall screws.

There was a lot of variation in the pullout force required to dislodge the screws in part one of the study, but screws set deeper into P3 were stronger. In the second part of the study, the screws were well-tolerated by the normal horses. None showed lameness while the screws were in place or after removal. All the horses in the third part of the study developed clinical signs of endotoxemia and acute laminitis. All horses similarly had histological changes consistent with laminitis, including elongation of epidermal lamellae. P3 rotation was not noted for any of the horses, including the controls, and horses…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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