More lessons from my knee injury. Having thought I knew what I was doing, and that with ice, support and rest it would get better, it didn't! When it stopped me riding and even lunging, I knew I needed professional help - 2 visits to an excellent sports physiotherapist and diligent icing and exercising had me back to normal, but more importantly, gave me a diagnosis, and I found out that a lot of what I'd been doing - bandaging and resting - had been completely wrong and adding to the problem!
It turns out I've got a condition called CMP, which will need managing for the rest of my life, but now that I know what aggravates it and what to do (ice, ice and more ice), I can manage it and live a completely normal life. My physiotherapist has had the same condition since she was a teenager, and yet for many years she was able to compete as a high level acrobat, because she knew how to manage it.
All of which is so relevent to laminitis!
Diagnose - First of all, you must always get a diagnosis - don't guess - find and remove/treat the cause. And go to someone with in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of laminitis for a diagnosis - if that's not your vet, then change vets, or ask them to work with a more experienced vet or expert. Don't just accept "laminitis" as a diagnosis - is it "endocrine-laminitis" (almost certainly, and if so, is it due to EMS or PPID?), "SIRS-laminitis" or "supporting limb-laminitis"? And why has it happened? Then you need x-rays to diagnose the changes, if any, in the feet, and ideally a series of x-rays, as changes to the feet may take place some time after the initial signs of laminitis are seen.
Treat - Then you need to implement the correct treatment - which is mostly removing and/or treating the cause (so for endocrine laminitis that's likely to be removing all high sugar/starch feeds including grass, or starting on pergolide if PPID is diagnosed) and supporting and realigning the feet, but may also include icing and pain relief.
Manage - And then once the crisis has passed, you need to learn how to manage your horse, most likely for the rest of his/her life if the laminitis had an endocrine cause, to avoid further laminitis. Management is likely to be very strict at first, quite likely for around 9 months or so while new hooves grow, but then as your horse is able to return to more work, he/she may also be able to have some access to grass, and gradually return to a fairly "normal" life - as long as you are very aware of the laminitis trigger factors (e.g. high sugar grass, seasonal rise in POMC hormones), monitor for signs of imminent laminitis and react immediately any are seen.
Successful recovery from laminitis involves correct diagnosis, treatment and management - it's usually very straightforward (although it's often over-complicated) - find out what's causing the problem, find out the correct way to treat it, and find out how to avoid it in the future - and do it properly! Once I stopped guessing and got an expert diagnosis, treatment and management plan, I went from being seriously lame and in pain for over a month, to being back "in work" within a few days.
I'm off for a ride....
Laminitis, EMS or PPID - start here
Who said "stop the carrots"?
Pituitary stress hormones
Should pergolide be increased for the seasonal rise?
Body Condition Scoring
Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction
Equine Metabolic Syndrome and insulin dysregulation
TTouch for laminitics 1
Laminitis and the Feet
La fourbure et le pied
Laminitis, EMS and PPID
Laminitis Rehabilitation – The Owner's Perspective
P3 - the pedal/coffin bone/third phalanx
Vit C and PPID
Vetcare Webinars Andy Durham 2013
Movement - good or bad?
Pulsatility of ACTH
Managing horses with PPID - Marian Little & Dianne McFarlane
Is it PPID or is it EMS?
FAQ: Rehabilitating the feet after laminitis
Diet for weight loss
Please report adverse reactions to Prascend
Splitting Prascend tablets
Measuring Collateral Grooves
General Laminitis Quiz
Body Condition Scoring Video
Video comparing PPID symptoms and normal aging
McFarlane 2011 Equine PPID
Pharmacokinetics of Pergolide Mesylate in Horses - Rendle et al. 2013.
EVA foam pads
Rehabilitating the Laminitic Foot - Scott Morrison DVM
Anaemia and Iron Supplements
Early symptoms of PPID.
Don't raise the heel!
The Laminitis Site is now a charitable company!
Izmir returns to work after laminitis in all 4 feet.
Trimming the laminitic horse.
A balanced foot.
The circumflex artery and solar corium necrosis.
What do you know about PPID?
Frosty grass = high sugar!
There are no magic potions!
Is injected pergolide more effective than oral?
Risk Factors for Equine Metabolic Syndrome - Dr Nichol Schultz
Fly free Homey pony.
Sorrel's doing great!
Celebrating Homer's results!
The Horse.com Ask the vet live: PPID.
If the bone moves - move it back!
Always get a diagnosis!
Horses with laminitis need pampering!
Autumn is the best time to
test for PPID.