KEYSTO PREVENTING LAMINITIS
It’s far better to head off this potentially crippling hoof condition than to try to treat it. Here’s what you need to know to protect your horse.
aminitis is probably one of the most dreaded diagnoses in the
horse world. Dysfunction and/or inflammation of the tissue
(laminae) that connects the coffin bone to the inside of the hoof
wall, laminitis can cause excruciating pain and permanent
unsoundness. In many cases, euthanasia is the most humane option.
Treatment options for laminitis remain limited. Icing the feet can help to
curb the inflammation in the tissues, but once the horse begins showing out-
ward signs of pain, the damage is already underway. At that point, supportive
footing---such as deep bedding or various hoof pads or shoes---and anti-
inflammatory medications may help halt or slow the damage to the hooves,
but they cannot reverse it.
It’s far better to stop laminitis from developing in the first place. In recent
years, researchers have made great strides in identifying the factors that cause
laminitis. And while not every case can be avoided, it is now possible to greatly
reduce the risks that any horse will develop this disease. Here are five basic
steps you can take to protect your horse from developing laminitis: