Physical Forces Lead To More Laminitis In Front Feet

If you've ever wondered why more mechanical damage from laminitis tends to occur in the front rather than the hind feet, Jim Belknap says it may be due to the fact that the typical horse places 60% of its weight on the front feet. The Ohio State University equine veterinarian and member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall Of Fame says laminar tissue samples were examined from 12 horses with laminitis caused by an overload of carbohydrates. There were no differences in inflammatory response or blood flow between the laminae.


"The answer isn't the physiological differences, such as a suggessted drop in blood supply, because they were the same in all hooves," says Belknap. "Instead, it's some other external factor pushing the front hooves over the edge to laminar failure. This could be due to weight bearing and possibly the shape of the front hooves that sometimes are not as upright and may even have a longer toe than the hind feet."


Get Friendly With Your Area's Real Equine Opinion Leaders

If you're interested in developing a specific trimming and shoeing specialization, Dean Moshier says it will pay big dividends to find those folks that can spread the word about your talents. When the Delaware, Ohio, farrier was shoeing a lot of Arabians, he was asked several times to specialize with this breed. After a barn gave him rave reviews, the news quickly spread at area horse shows where these folks…

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