Laminitis Still A Puzzle?

Fredericks’ unification theory draws plenty of reader interest, criticism

Not everyone may agree with the unification theory on laminitis developed by California farrier Matthew Frederick and his wife, Susan Tierney Frederick, but a lot of people ARE talking about it.

The Fredericks’ theory, which holds, in part, that insulin resistance and undiagnosed Cushing’s Syndrome are at the root of many cases of refractory laminitis, was featured in the two most recent issues of American Farriers Journal (“Insulin Resistance May Be Key To Founder Puzzle,” December, 2001, page 13 to 21 and “5-Step Treatment For Laminitis,” January/February, 2002, page 9 to 14).

And the letters, e-mails and phone calls have been pouring in.

The editors at American Farriers Journal have forwarded many of these letters to the Fredericks, who have responded personally to some of them.

Critics Take Aim

Critics have argued that the Fredericks’ field study lacks scientific controls and that their theory was unsubstantiated by scientific research. Some say the theory is not original, but draws on previous scientific work. One farrier wonders if the term “treated” for laminitis meant that the Fredericks were straying into territory restricted by law to veterinarians.

And some have taken American Farriers Journal to task for publishing what they claim is little more than an “infomercial” for the Fredericks’ book and Permax, the brand of pergolide mesylate they use in their treatment protocol.

Authors Respond

Here are selected passages from letters the Fredericks wrote in response to these letters and criticisms. 

  • "All of the horses in our field trial were treated by…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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