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Future research is more likely to find a pharmacological cure for systemic laminitis than for overload weight-bearing laminitis, maintains equine veterinarian Larry Bramlage. The surgeon with Rood and Riddle in Lexington, Ky., defines systemic laminitis as a disease process that liberates enough mediators within the body to trigger the separation of the hoof wall.
“If you spot the laminitis soon enough, you might be able to give that horse something that stalls the separation of the hoof while you treat the primary disease and let the laminae recover,” Bramlage says. “Since some of the damage has occurred before the pain shows, you have to get there virtually at the start of the disease.”
If you’re injured while shoeing, Carl Nissen, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Conn., says ice should be used for the first 48 hours. Apply the ice for 20 minutes, remove for 20 minutes and repeat the treatment. Avoid applying the ice directly to the skin by placing a thin towel over the skin for protection.
Nissen recommends using heat only 24 hours after a minor injury or 48 hours after a more serious one. Place a heat pack directly on the injured area on and off for 20 minutes without adding pressure and avoid applying to broken skin.
If a horse…