Treating Laminitis with Casting Tape and Orthotics

By delivering support with a unique system, a hoof-care team successfully addressed laminitis

I find that the genius of modern medicine lies in its discovery that by uniting the expertise of the primary care physician, various specialists and the concern of the patient, a cooperative team effort results in a more accurate diagnosis of symptoms and a more successful treatment of the patient. This also has become a reality in the realm of equine diagnosis and treatment. When the vet and farrier combine their expertise, coupled with the owner’s cooperation, some of the complex diagnostic issues become clear and often treatable. The case study of this horse, Junior, is an excellent example of the collective approach. 

Uncovering The Problem

In mid-December 2010, Junior was shod at his regular interval. Everything seemed fine with the 9-year-old Thoroughbred following the shoeing. However, the horse began showing signs of discomfort a few days later.

The owner, Kathy Bennett, called in Dr. Bri Gindlesperger from the Carolina Equine Clinic in Southern Pines, N.C., for a “normal lameness exam.” After Junior tested positive with hoof testers, the veterinarian felt that this was a shoeing issue. The hope was that after a dose of bute and limited turnout, the horse would be fine in a couple of days.

However, Junior did not improve in the following days. Instead, he continued to worsen, as evidenced by his shifting back and forth on his front feet. Fearing laminitis, Gindlesperger shot a series of radiographs (Figures 1 and 2) on Dec. 20, 2010.

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This was the critical stage where we formed the…

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