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  • Writer's pictureDrs. Luedke

Laminitis in horses; what is the best treatment?

Laminitis is a serious condition that affects the hooves of horses and other equines. It is caused by inflammation of the laminae, the delicate tissues that connect the hoof wall to the bone inside the foot. Laminitis can be very painful for the animal and can lead to long-term damage if not treated properly.

Laminitis in horses a serious disease
Venogram showing lack of vascular supply at toe

The best treatment for laminitis will depend on the individual animal and the severity of the condition. Some common treatment options for laminitis include:

  • Rest: One of the most important things for a horse with laminitis is to rest. This means keeping the horse off of hard surfaces and limiting its movement to reduce stress on the hooves.

  • Supportive shoeing: Special shoes or pads can be used to support the hooves and distribute weight more evenly. This can help to reduce pain and prevent further damage.

  • Pain management: Pain medication can be used to help manage the pain associated with laminitis. This may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain-relieving medications.

  • Nutritional support: Providing the horse with a balanced diet that is low in sugar and starch can help to reduce the risk of laminitis and support overall health.

  • Endocrine evaluation: many disorders including Insulin Dysregulation and Pars Pituitary Intermedia Dysfunction (previously known as Cushing's in horses) can play a major role in rotation of the coffin bone and overall comfort.

It's important to work closely with a veterinarian to develop the best treatment plan for a horse with laminitis. In some cases, intense measures may need to be taken to improve the horse's pain and future soundness.

Rotated P3 (coffin bone) on Left; normal P3 position on Right

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