Communicate To Avoid Offering Unrealistic Laminitis Expectations

When it comes to treating laminitis cases, Bill Moyer says most of the proposed therapeutic regimens have value, but no procedure or therapy is clearly superior to any other.

As a result, the Texas A&M University equine veterinarian told attendees at the recent American Association of Equine Practitioners annual meeting that educating owners about the uncertainty involved in treating laminitic horses must be a critical part of your shoeing work.

“I also believe that it is unethical for veterinarians and farriers to indicate to owners that had someone instituted a particular therapy at a particular time in the course of the disease that the horse could have had a better outcome,” says Moyer.

“There is absolutely no scientific information available to make such a damning statement. And it provides a wonderful medium for litigation and loss of respect by the public for the profession’s ability to provide honest and optimal health care.”

Moyer says most of the techniques described for treating horses with chronic laminitis are useful at times. Yet he maintains no single treatment has proven to be better than any other.  

Key Laminitis Questions

Besides determining the best therapeutic management of a horse with chronic laminitis, he says two important questions need to be answered:

1. How do you help the client understand the many problems associated with chronic laminitis?

2. What are the ethical issues regarding the welfare of the horse?

Moyer says most horses with chronic laminitis have persistent pain, lameness, positional changes of the distal…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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