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Laminitis - What is it?
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     I have owned several horse in the past 30 years and never dealt with laminitis. I know it is a problem that is from the horse's hoof. But I want to know what it is and does the horse ever recover from it can you help me?

     Thanks, Laurie

Your Horse Barn DVDDear Laurie,

     I'll paraphrase the information from our book, Maximum Hoof Power:

     "Laminitis is an acute inflammation of the sensitive laminae in the hoof which can be caused by a wide variety of factors including over-eating of grain or pasture, trauma, and foaling complications.  The chronic form of the condition is often referred to as founder.  It is likely that a number of horses experience mild laminitis and recover without it ever being recognized.  Other horses that experience mild laminitis may or may not be diagnosed as such by the veterinarian and may recover and return to normal work with or without (or in spite of) treatment.

     "Horses that suffer significant hoof damage from laminitis, resulting in weeks or months of unsoundness, are unlikely to ever return to their previous level of performance.  Some of these horses can become sound enough for light turn out.  However, mares so affected may not be able to bear the additional weight of a pregnancy without refoundering.

Horse For Sale by Cherry Hill     "Successful laminitis treatment involves a cooperative effort from the horse owner, veterinarian, and farrier.  Although an experienced veterinarian and farrier can set the stage for a horse's recovery, the owner's long-term commitment to the treatment program is of paramount importance.  Dealing with laminitis can require emotional strength and a considerable investment of time and money.  Besides initial emergency care, a horse suffering from severe laminitis will need frequent farrier attention and periodic veterinary care for a year or more.  Most cases will require daily treatment and specialized management and close supervision for life.  Some horses, in spite of conscientious treatment and care, will fail to improve and may worsen.  Since laminitis is the second leading cause (next to colic) of equine death, prevention is essential.  Monitor your horse's weight closely, be certain your horse cannot get into the feed room, and carefully select and monitor the horses you turn out on pasture."


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