Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Secretariat's Triple Crown wins, and the opening of the International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot (IECLDF), held in November in Florida, was dedicated to the efforts of the equine veterinary community in the area of laminitis.
From the time of Secretariat's death due to the disease in 1989 to present day, there have been significant advances made. This year's conference theme was "Building a Global Team," and the goal was to balance presentations of the latest scientific research and practical information with the opportunity to network and interact with other conference attendees.
James Orsini, DVM, DACVS, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center and co-director of IECLDF, noted Secretariat's case of laminitis, recognizing that during the 1980s "we did not know what the underlying cause for his laminitis was, though it is now thought to most probably be endocrinopathic disease."
"We know much more about laminitis in 2013 than we did in 1989," conceded Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, DACVS, professor and chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Orsini's co-director of IECLDF. "However, we still have not solved the laminitis puzzle. In fact, the more we learn, the more we appreciate how little we really know."