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Researchers at Michigan State University and The Ohio State University conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify factors associated with the development of laminitis among 130 horses admitted to the veterinary teaching hospitals with colitis. The primary factor of interest is the continuous, total immersion of the front hooves in ice or an ice water slurry (ICE) to just above the fetlocks. The analysis excluded horses that had laminitis on arrival at the hospital as well as pony, draft and miniature breeds as well as horses less than 2 years old. Horses that received intermittent soaking in ice, ice packs or other forms of cold water treatment were also not included.
Seven of the 69 horses (10%) treated with ICE developed laminitis compared with 20 of 61 (33%) not treated with ICE that developed laminitis. A higher respiratory rate on admission to the hospital and elevated blood lactate levels were also positively associated with the risk of laminitis. The odds of developing laminitis were 10 times lower with the ICE treatment. Survival of the horses with colitis that also developed laminitis was lower (48%) compared to those without this complication (98%). It seems clear that continuous immersion in ICE to prevent laminitis in horses with colitis significantly improves survival.
— Kullman A et al. EVJ 2014;46:554-559.
A randomized, controlled and blinded experimental trial was used to evaluate the effectiveness of soaking the foot in an ice water slurry (ICE) as…