Viewing Laminitis With Fresh Eyes

Massachusetts farrier offers a new perspective: Just for starters, he says P3 doesn’t rotate

What would be your first reaction if I were to tell you that during laminitis the coffin bone cannot, does not, and will not rotate? Ever!

Not being one to shy away from an argument, I’m going to start off by throwing some gasoline on the fire. Namely, bones never rotate. Why should the coffin bone be so special? Can the cannon bone rotate? The skull is a bone. Can it rotate? Bones articulate at their joints during movement, but never at any other time.

With a laminitic horse there cannot be — nor is there — rotation of the coffin bone. We have always been taught that the coffin bone in a laminitic horse rotates downward, and our concept of shoeing the laminitic horse is based on that idea: to support the bony column in an attempt to stabilize the so-called rotation.

Bones don’t rotate, but the hoof capsule can be displaced and thereafter distort (Figure 1). Mike Wildenstein, FWCF hons, CJF, the resident farrier at Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, first introduced me to this concept of upward displacement of the hoof capsule. At that time, I could not or would not allow my mind to fully grasp the concept. It went against everything I had ever been taught or read. I did extensive research and found little or no information to support this theory. Since I love to think outside the box, I began to reason it out logically. Interestingly, it took a very…

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Nicholas denson 2019

Nicholas B Denson

Nicholas B. Denson is a Sagamore Beach, Mass., farrier specializing in therapeutic and performance hoof-care.

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