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When it comes to addressing stabilization of the hoof and distal phalanx in laminitis cases, Pat Riley likes to take radiographs before and after every trimming and shoeing. The resident farrier at the Rochester Equine Clinic in Chester, N.H., says that radiographs prove to be an extremely valuable reference when a horse develops new problems a couple of weeks after treatment.
He told attendees at the International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot in mid-November in West Palm Beach, Fla., that three critical priorities in dealing with laminitis are: 1. Stabilization of the distal phalanx and hoof. 2. Relief of discomfort for the horse. 3. Establishing and maintaining integrity of the hoof capsule. Riley has also found 50 percent less distal hoof distortion over a 1-year period when glue-on shoes were used with laminitic horses.
Because Dave Ferguson often finds shoes need to be punched differently when dealing with laminitis, he relies on many styles, shapes and brands of shoes. “In treating laminitis cases, nail placement is critical and this means you often need to use shoes that are punched differently,” says the Cambridge, Md., farrier who is a speaker at the Feb. 4-7, 2004, International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, that’s hosted by American Farriers Journal.
Laminitis studies funded by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation may help identify specific changes that occur during the onset of…