August 8, 2015 - Hoof Care

  • August 25, 2015
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The Stages of Laminitis

by Heather Smith Thomas

Many things can cause inflammation of the hoof laminae (laminitis). Serious cases may progress to founder (dropping or rotation of the coffin bone). Dr. Scott Morrison of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, says horses have the best chances for recovery if treatment begins early, even before the horse shows signs of acute laminitis—increased digital pulse and pain in the feet. “Preventative treatment like anti-inflammatories and icing the feet should be given right after the horse has colic surgery, retained placenta, or has eaten too much grain,” said Morrison. “It’s also helpful to ice the feet during the acute phase, when the horse shows foot pain. We’re convinced that cold treatment helps decrease the amount of damage.”

Standing the horse in ice water slurry up to mid-cannon bone—or using a cold saltwater bath—can be very beneficial. Salt water tends to pull some of the edema out of the tissues of the lower limb and possibly the foot.

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