Clashing Views on Laminitis

A noted farrier questions the basis of an article in the May/June issue and the author responds

The Challenger’s Viewpoint

By Randy Luikart. Mansfield, Ohio

The May/June 2007 edition of American Farriers Journal had an interesting article by Nicholas Denson. Although it is refreshing to read contributions from someone who is thinking, I would like to make some observations as to the accuracy of some statements.

First, several pictures are described as being acute laminitic. They are not. In the August 1999 edition of the Veterinary Clinics of North American On Laminitis (Page 289), the differences between acute versus chronic are described as “... beginning with the first appearance of lameness resulting from an initial episode of laminitis and continuing until one of two things happen. The first is the passing of 72 hours without physical or radiographic evidence of mechanical collapse of the foot … alternatively the acute phase can terminate abruptly with the occurrence of digital collapse which is identified as either rotation or sinking of the distal phalanx.” Instead, I believe that picture described in the article as acute was actually chronic.

Hoof distortions in any manner are a failure of the hoof’s mechanical or anatomical strengths during weight bearing. These failures may occur singularly or in combination, which may allow total collapse of the digit’s function.

The anatomical textbooks that I have indicate that the circumflex artery and vein border the palmar border of the distal phalanx and are actually suspended from that border. The artery and veins along the frog are commonly known as the medial and lateral palmar digital artery and…

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