LAMINITIS PREVEN­TION BA­SICS

HERE’S A RUNDOWN OF WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS PO­TEN­TIALLY CRIP­PLING DISEASE AND HOW TO PRE­VENT IT.

EQUUS - - Eq In Brief - By Lau­rie Bon­ner

THE DISEASE

Laminitis---the in­flam­ma­tion of the soft tis­sue (sen­si­tive lam­i­nae) within the hoof---can cause a horse ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain. In se­vere cases, the sen­si­tive lam­i­nae weaken to the point where they can’t sup­port the cof­fin bone, which then sinks or ro­tates, pulling away from the in­te­rior of the hoof wall--a con­di­tion called “founder.” In these se­vere cases, this dam­age can­not be un­done, and the

horse may be left per­ma­nently un­sound. In the worst cases, euthana­sia may be the only hu­mane op­tion.

There are two forms of laminitis: An acute episode oc­curs rapidly and may re­spond to ap­pro­pri­ate, in­ten­sive treat­ment; the chronic form is a per­sis­tent, long-term con­di­tion that can be dif­fi­cult to treat. To pro­tect your horse from ei­ther type of this dev­as­tat­ing disease, iden­tify the fac­tors that might put him at risk, take the ap­pro­pri­ate pre­ven­tive mea­sures and be ready to re­spond should you no­tice early signs of the disease.

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