Laminitis – Part 2 : Treatment and prevention of laminitis

The picture on the right shows the wooden support shoe on a cross sectioned foot of a cadaver specimen. Note the support material between the sole and the wooden shoe. (Image courtesy of Countryside Network)

By Lauren Lamb, DVM

As mentioned in last month’s NTFR article, the key to having a successful outcome in a horse with acute laminitis is rapid diagnosis and aggressive therapy. As soon as you notice your horse displaying the clinical signs of laminitis (heat in the front feet, increased digital pulses, walking on egg shells, rocking back on their hunches when turning, etc.) call your local veterinarian.

The faster you contact your veterinarian and institute therapy, the less damage that will incur to lamina in the hoof and the better chance the horse has to make a full recovery. Laminitis is usually caused by some other disease within the body—severe infection, grain overload, grazing on fresh green grass in the spring. The key to therapy, for laminitis, is to identify the underlying cause of the infection or inflammation and initiate therapy towards the disease.

An example of this may be a horse with severe pneumonia, which needs to be administered antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, IV fluids, etc. Another example would be administering mineral or activated charcoal to a horse that has overloaded on grain.

The mineral oil or activated charcoal will absorb the excess carbohydrates and/or toxins within the colon and prevent them from being absorbed into systemic circulation.

To read more pick up a copy of the January 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.