World Horse Welfare have brought out a new Laminitis leaflet.
Laminitis is a painful condition that can affect any horse, pony, donkey or mule.
Laminitis is always a veterinary emergency.
Laminitis occurs when the laminae in the foot become weakened by losing their normal shape, resulting in instability of the pedal bone and signs of pain and lameness [pain isn't always seen].
Laminitis is due most commonly to a metabolic/hormonal disorder, e.g. EMS and PPID, and can also follow an inflammatory condition, e.g. systemic sepsis or reatined placenta, or severe non-weight bearing lameness.
Common signs of laminitis include:
1 restricting movement, pain relief and supporting the feet,
2 therapeutic trimming [TLS would argue that shoeing is almost never the best option, and realigning trimming should be part of the initial care], and diagnosis/treatment/management of hormonal disorders,
3 ongoing management of the horse's diet, exercise and footcare.
WHW suggest that important risk factors for laminitis include recent weight gain, a history of laminitis and foot soreness after shoeing/trimming. Ensuring a horse is not overweight is very important for preventing laminitis. A history of laminitis tells you that they almost certainly have a hormonal condition (EMS / PPID) that needs to be managed/treated, and chronic laminitis to be corrected. Foot soreness after shoeing/trimming is often seen in horses that have had laminitis that haven't had their feet correctly realigned and supported/protected - often it is foot pain from chronic (uncorrected) laminitis that is seen when horses appear to have recurrent, and not necessarily new laminitis (linked to abnormal hormone production).