Scott Morrison

Step-By-Step Approach To Dealing With The Laminitic Foot

Equine veterinarian Scott Morrison says systematic approach offers best hope for the horse

CHECKING SOLE DEPTH. Veterinarian Scott Morrison demonstrates checking sole depth of the radiograph of a laminitic foot. He uses this measurement as a baseline for future reference. He says if you find that your treatment is not helping the horse to grow more sole, you need to change the treatment.

If there's one issue that baffles farriers and veterinarians, it’s how to deal with laminitis. Farriers find it hard to distinguish between the tested methods of treatment for laminitis and the people who are out there trying to sell a quick-fix solution to this debilitating problem. Veterinarians complain that research may show one way of easing the pain of laminitis, but say it’s worthless if it doesn’t actually work in the field.

That’s where Dr. Scott Morrison comes in. Morrison, who runs the podiatry center at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., has a veterinary degree but also knows what it’s like to be under a horse. He paid for his undergraduate and veterinary education by shoeing horses after going to Danny Ward’s school in Virginia.

Recently at the Purina Clinic held in St. Louis, Mo., Morrison spoke at length about the basics of laminitis, as well as his philosophy and method for treating this troubling problem.

Defining Laminitis

Before a farrier can jump into a treatment plan for a laminitic horse, he or she must know what laminitis is and the stages of this disease.

Morrison defines laminitis as “inflammation of the laminae, which leads to…

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