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One of the most frustrating things about working with laminitis cases is that a procedure or treatment that works on one horse often doesn’t work on another similar case, says Scott Morrison. The veterinarian, who heads the podiatry department at Rood & Riddle Equine hospital in Lexington, Ky., says anyone looking for a silver-bullet or one-size-fits-all type answer is bound to be disappointed.
A big part of Morrison’s approach is to find a support system that will improve circulation and stimulate hoof growth for each laminitic horse. While there are a number of systems and devices that can be effective, he says the trick is identifying the one that will work best with a particular case.
When it comes to recognizing and controlling joint problems, Victoria Maxwell says the farrier is the first line of defense. The technical service veterinarian at Luitpold Animal Health, the manufacturers of the Adequan joint health product, says farriers can develop a baseline and maintain a balanced joint environment with horses.
When a veterinarian is able to diagnosis specific lesions with soundness issues, she says the farrier can assess and discuss the lesions and alter the impact of load and attempt to correct the problem with specific therapeutic shoes or by hand forging a support solution. “A symbiotic relationship of trainer, veterinarian and farrier is essential to the long-term viability of any athletic horse,” she says.