CASE 2: SEVERE, ROTATED LAMINITIS. Belle’s stance when she could be prodded to her feet upon arriving at the Van Roekel equine veterinary clinic.
Laminitis has always been an extremely elusive disease. Even though tons of research has been done on its mechanisms and causes, nobody knows for sure how to prevent it. However, even if we don’t know how to avoid it, maybe we can still cure it.
Gary Graef, a Fort Myers, Fla., farrier has worked closely with veterinarians on laminitis cases for almost 20 years. He’s tried many types of shoes, pads and appliances but of course, no single method covered every situation.
In the past 2 years, he and several veterinarians began using a new shoeing regimen that has radically improved their success and recovery rate. This included cases that ranged from mild to severe, acute and chronic.
According to Graef, in acute cases rapid response by the veterinarian and farrier is paramount. The veterinarian must aggressively treat the acute horse with anti-inflammatory drugs, and a temporary support system for the feet is essential to retard the rotation and sinking of P3. The temporary support utilizes Equine Digit Support System (EDSS) Styrofoam blocks the vet or farrier can apply with an Elastikon bandage. Graef recommends that veterinarians carry the foam blocks in their first-aid kit.
Graef then uses a shoeing method that supports the bony column. He continues to use it until the laminae are healthy enough to support the bony column.
In the past 2…