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Two recent United Kingdom studies have changed the thinking of British researchers when it comes to identifying the major causes of laminitis. In these University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine studies, around 90% of the confirmed laminitis cases were associated with an underlying endocrine (hormonal) disorder, says Andy Durham, an equine veterinarian at the Liphook Equine Hospital in Hampshire, England.
Some of these horses had Cushing’s disease while others suffered from equine metabolic syndrome. When horses and ponies with these two hormonal conditions graze and ingest sugars from grasses, the result often is an abnormally high level of insulin. In normal horses without hormonal disease concerns, pasture grazing is unlikely to lead to the high insulin levels that can cause laminitis, says Durham.
When it comes to the healing process with tendon injuries, Roland Thaler says farriers are essential members of the treatment team. The equine veterinarian at Metamora Equine in Metamora, Mich., stresses the need to keep these injured horses moving based on the severity of the tendon injury. “Rest does more harm than good,” he says. “The benefit of exercising is that it increases circulation and keeps the tendon from starting to stiffen. The desire is low loading with frequency, and increasing loading as healing permits. We can change the foot simply by trimming it and applying appliances — like wedges.”
The Worshipful Company of Farriers and…