Research Journal

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

Author’s Note: While this column generally presents abstracts of original research, some excellent expert opinion and review material about laminitis was recently published and is abstracted here for our AFJ readers.

Understanding The Differences In The Mechanisms Of Laminitis

A review of the literature on how laminitis develops was recently published in the Equine Veterinary Journal. The authors looked at the literature concerning the various experimental models of laminitis, the mechanisms for inflammatory (sepsis) and metabolic (endocrinopathy) laminitis and how contralateral limb laminitis and pasture-associated laminitis might fit into these forms of disease.

Developmental Stage Discoveries

The basement membrane again emerges as a critical structure where epidermal (hoof) cells are attached to the dermis (covering of the coffin bone). This attachment is akin to a thin layer of Superglue where specific adhesion molecules cement the hoof to the coffin bone.

All forms of laminitis involve the breakdown of this bond, however the timing and biochemistry of how and why this happens is not the same depending on the inciting cause. Evidence from several studies suggests the developmental stages of laminitis last from 24 to 48 and even 72 hours.

The warning that a horse which has gotten into the grain bin isn’t out of the woods for 3 days seems to have a good foundation here. As has often been pointed out in the middle of…

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Albert Kane

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

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