Laminitis is the inflammation of the laminae or the "velcro-like" connections between the coffin bone and the hoof wall. The inflammation of these sensitive structures is what causes pain and lameness. Most often, the laminae connections start to separate and break down, allowing the coffin bone and hoof capsule to rotate or sink in relation to each other - this rotation and/or sinking is called founder or chronic laminitis.
pictured: An example of a "classic" Laminitis stance. Don't be fooled! Not all horses will present this way!
There are many different signs that your horse may be suffering from laminitis:
* slight shortening of stride, “feels his feet" or finds it difficult to turn but seems normal on soft ground and in straight lines
* unwilling to walk or pick feet up, shifting weight from foot to foot
* strong digital pulse
* total refusal to move or pick up feet
* lying down a lot, heart rate and respiration increased, increased sweating
Treatment of a laminitc horse is complicated and requires an individual approach. Depending on the severity of the disease some horses can be managed at home, while others may need to be in a facility such as Tillotson Equine.
Horses who present with severe cases of laminitis should be in a setting where they are able to be treated aggressively and are in an environment that can be controlled.
Tillotson Equine works closely with Dr. Dick Mansmann of Equine Podiatry and Rehab of NC, to come up with individualized approach to treating the laminitic horse. Combined with efforts from our trusted farriers, this team approach gives your horse the best possible option for recovery.