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Dr. Andrew van Eps likes to get the bad news out of the way with audiences when lecturing on laminitis prevention. The associate professor of Equine Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine reminds that a cure for laminitis is improbable. Certainly, a laminitic episode can be addressed and the horse can be helped, but even with improvement, there is the danger of recurrence and sustained damage. The good news, however, is we understand intervention better.
“Intervention is through prevention, management of acute cases and management of chronic cases,” he says. “But prevention is the best time for intervention.”
Van Eps surveyed our current understanding of addressing laminitis and the keys of prevention and early detection. Although the overall picture is much more complicated, understanding what we know from clinical settings regarding prevention can help practitioners communicate with clients so they are more aware and can be more active in their horses’ care.
First, in looking at supporting limb laminitis (SLL), van Eps says among the theories for cause, perfusion is more likely the leading limiting factor. Evidence from research shows that limbs under load can encounter arterial…