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Laminitis - equine disease


Laminitis (obsolete: cough, rheumatic hoof inflammation)

Between the horn shoe and the ungulate bone there is a layer consisting of sensitive leaves that connect the bone to the shoe. The inflammation of the layer of these leaves is called laminitis. Its course can be both acute and chronic. It must be remembered that this is a systemic disease, that is, associated with general disorders in the body. It is extremely dangerous - it can lead to horse euthanasia or its death from septicemia. Therefore, when the first signs of laminitis appear, it is urgent to consult a veterinarian. This disease is almost never completely cured. There will always be a possibility of relapse. A horse with laminitis will have a very long time, if not all its life, to need orthopedic forging and frequent x-ray examinations during the recovery period.

What can cause laminitis and what are the preventive measures.

There are a lot of causes of laminitis, but all of them lead to one sad result. If there are any primary problems that led to the appearance of laminitis, then without solving them, it will be almost impossible to cope with the disease. And remember that if, for example, a horse came out of a stall at night and ate a bag of oats in a stern, then it is better not to delay the adoption of measures. To rinse the stomach and inject activated charcoal, putting a dropper once will be much cheaper and faster than then trying to cope with laminitis.

Obese horse and especially ponyDo not overload your horse’s diet with concentrates. Ponies that do not carry a large sports load can generally do only roughage. Excess carbohydrates are the most common cause of laminitis.
Overgrazing on young lush grassIn the spring, introduce grass to the diet gradually
Endometritis, placenta retentionViolation of the placenta discharge, vaginal discharge, postpartum complications in mares should alert the owner and veterinarian as potential harbingers of laminitis
Hard rock hard workTry not to work with frisky gaits on hard ground (asphalt), use shock absorbers (fillets, plastic horseshoes)
Septicemia, Cushing's disease, toxemia (with colic, poisoning), septic endocarditis, hypothyroidismAll systemic diseases should be diagnosed in time and properly treated to avoid complications in the form of laminitis.
Weight transfer on one leg with a disease of one (two, three) other limbsOrthopedic diseases should be treated on time, if necessary, a hanging apparatus
Corticosteroid abuseAny use of corticosteroids should be carried out on the basis of the introduction of the minimum effective dose and the use of the shortest possible treatment course, especially if the horse already had laminitis.

What happens in the hoof in terms of physiology?

Without going into too much detail, for various reasons, the blood supply to the laminas (sensitive leaves of the base of the skin of the hoof) ceases, blood pressure in the vessels of the limbs increases (pulsation of the finger arteries appears), blood reaches only the corolla and does not go lower, resulting in necrosis (destruction ) leaf layer, the hoof begins to warm and hurt. The mechanism of keeping the hoof bone in the correct position is disturbed, due to necrosis of surrounding tissues, under the influence of a deep flexor of the finger and a number of other factors, the hoof bone begins to unfold and press its front edge on the sole from the inside. As a result, the ungulate bone can go outside, and tissue necrosis can go so far that the hoof shoe comes off completely, exposing sensitive underlying tissues. Save such a horse will not succeed.
On the sole in the hooking part, behind the white line, a hematoma is often visible, exudate accumulates between the leaf layer of the skin base and the hoof wall, and hemorrhages form in the corolla.
Sometimes the ungulate bone does not unfold, but falls - this is called a “sinker” (normally the upper part of the ungulate bone is flush with the corolla), and the growth zones of the corolla are destroyed, which makes it difficult to restore the hoof. An unfolded ungulate bone may be deformed inside the hoof due to an overpressure being experienced. The possibility of hoof infection is very high.

Fig. 1 Rotation of the hoofed bone. From Ted S. Stashak Adams` lameness in the horses

Laminitis can affect both one and all limbs, but most of both pathologies undergo pathologies due to the fact that they carry a large load.

We must understand that laminitis is an extremely painful condition. The horse is suffering, so you need to make every effort to alleviate its condition.

So, the signs of acute laminitis:

Fig. 2 Characteristic posture in acute laminates. From D. Nottenbelt, R. Pascoe Atlas of Horse Diseases, Sofia, 2008

  • characteristic posture, depending on which limbs are affected. If the forelimbs are damaged, the horse crouches on its hind legs, stretching the forelegs forward. If all four legs are affected, the horse acquires the “rocking horse” position, transferring weight from the front to the rear and vice versa,
  • characteristic lameness (the horse puts his foot on the heel and sharply raises it), the horse is almost impossible to move,
  • increased pulsation of the finger arteries (checked on the put joint on both sides of the back surface),
  • increase in local hoof temperature,
  • soreness when pressed with hoof tongs,

In severe cases, the general body temperature rises, the heart rate rises, the horse sweats, refuses food, tends to lie down.

Chronic laminitis (that is, laminitis in the recovery phase or manifested by a series of light attacks) is visible on the hoof in the form of “laminitic” rings, the angle of the front wall of the hoof changes, the hoof bone rotates, characteristic lameness appears, first resting on the heel, and then on the hook . The growth of the hoof wall is faster on the heels, the dorsal wall of the hoof (“laminar wedge”) is thickened, the white line is very wide, the sole becomes flat or even convex, the hoof hook is lifted. Without proper care, a hoof can eventually turn into a hedgehog or take on the shape of a Turkish shoe.

First aid and treatment

The horse must be provided with thick litter of sawdust or straw so that it can lie down and ease the load on the hooves.

Horses with acute laminitis need rest, as movement only exacerbates the rotation of the hoofed bone. In the recovery period, exercise is necessary.

First of all, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to treat laminitis: phenylbutazone, flunixin, aspirin, etc. They can reduce pain and inflammation, improve the rheological properties of the blood (“thin” it), and have an antitoxic effect.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (dimexide) can be used as external lotions and as a solution for intravenous administration. It has an antioxidant effect.

Well proven agents that improve blood circulation to the peripheral vessels of the limbs.

This is Acepromazine (Vetranquil) - dilates blood vessels, has a sedative effect.

Isoxuprin - improves blood circulation to the limb.

Pentoxifylline (Trental) - allows blood red blood cells to change their shape and penetrate into the smallest capillaries, improving gas exchange.

Heparin - used for intravenous administration and is the main reason for the use of leeches in hirudotherapy.

Lotions on the corolla region with nitroglycerin are widely used abroad, but in our country it is very difficult to find liquid nitroglycerin.

When infected, antibiotics are indicated in combination with surgical drainage of the cavities formed in the hoof.

All of the above substances have a strong therapeutic effect and a lot of side effects, some of them are incompatible or contraindicated at a certain stage of the disease, therefore their use is prescribed only by a veterinarian.

No less important is the impact on the hoof of cold. The use of ice baths for hoofs in the early stages of the disease has a good anti-inflammatory effect and relieves pain. At the same time, the use of warm water may be useful when the acute stage of inflammation has already passed.

Sometimes a horse with laminitis is recommended to be placed on wet cold clay or sand. This can give a good result, since such soil well supports the ungulate bone, filling the hoof arch and putting pressure on the arrow.

As a first aid, you can recommend a gauze roll attached with a band-aid on the arrow closer to the heel. However, in some cases, pressure on the arrow can increase pain. In any case, you need to immediately call a veterinarian, and possibly coval.

Surgical methods of treating laminitis are also used if conservative therapy does not give results, and in order to contribute to the formation of a more normal hoof during horn regrowth. The method of draining the cavity inside the hoof is used to release the accumulated exudate. As a result, pressure inside the hoof decreases, pain decreases. The wall of the hoof may be resected to redistribute the pressure. A deep digital flexor is sometimes cut to prevent further rotation of the hoof bone.

Obese horses need to lose weight. In this case, fasting is contraindicated. It is best to feed a sick horse with good, preferably alfalfa, hay, excluding concentrates. It is advisable to use top dressing that improves the growth of the hoofed horn (they are considered top dressing with biotin and methionine).


Fig. 3 Rotation of the hoof bone, x-ray. From J. A. Butler, C. M. Colles etc Clinical Radiology of the Horse, Blackwell Science, 2000

Appointed immediately to determine the degree of rotation of the hoofed bone. You may need to take a few shots of each limb to evaluate the damage in two projections. Pictures are taken using special markers attached to the hoof and special stands. During the treatment, a series of images will have to be taken to assess the possible deterioration of the structure of the hoof (cavity, change in the structure and shape of the hoof bone, signs of inflammation, etc.). Also, in the early stages, pictures will be needed for every clearing and reforging.

Clearing and forging.

It must be borne in mind that there is no perfect way of forging that completely helps all horses. The horseshoes and the forging method are selected individually, only according to the results of an X-ray examination, in accordance with the changes that have occurred with the ungulate bone.

The technique of forging a horse with laminitis is complicated, and if you want to achieve a positive result, then a team consisting of a competent koval and a competent veterinarian should work for you.

In acute laminates, remove the old horseshoes and clear the hoof as the veterinarian advises. Foreign experts also offer applying polystyrene foam to the sole, a combination of fillets and wedge-shaped inserts, and silicone putty.

After 3-6 weeks, if everything is going well, the horse may be horseshoe

Fig. 4 Horseshoe Hoofcare Breakover.

In the past, forging on horseshoes with an open hook or reverse horseshoes was often used. Many modern experts believe that they do not provide protection for either the hook or the sole, the horseshoe branches are pressed into the hook, the heel does not rest properly, etc. There are also heart-shaped horseshoes and horseshoes with jumpers, designed to transfer part of the weight from the walls of the hoof to the arrow. These horseshoes can sometimes be beneficial, but only with a careful fit.

What, from the point of view of a modern doctor, should a horseshoe look that can be beneficial for laminitis? And again, it all depends on this particular case. This can be a horseshoe, wide in the hook part, slightly elongated forward, with a roller on three sides, with a supporting surface concave in the hook part so that the painful sole does not feel pressure.

It can be horseshoes with wedge-shaped elevations. Abroad they use a combination of such a horseshoe, special gaskets, elevations, synthetic polymers, and silicone. You need to raise the heel then to loosen the tension of the deep digital flexor.

Pillows are also available, attached between the horseshoe and the hoof, and special shoes.

Before forging, the blockade of a sick hoof is most often made. If nailing is not possible, then horseshoe bonding is sometimes used.

If lowering, and not turning of the ungulate bone, occurred, then the heel is rarely raised, use horseshoes with a roller, silicone.

Once again, standing a horse on sand or clay can bring a good result.

The outcome of the disease is difficult to predict. Naturally, this particular case is being considered. The degree of damage is assessed according to an X-ray examination, the general condition of the horse is taken into account. Often the degree of morphological changes in the structure of the hoof becomes apparent only with the growth of a new hoofed horn.

In any case, on the radiograph, the angle of the dorsal surface of the hoof bone with respect to the dorsal surface of the horn shoe is prognostic:

- the angle is less than 5.5 degrees - the forecast is favorable,

-angle of 6.6-11.5 degrees - a dubious forecast,

- angle of more than 11.5 - poor prognosis.

  1. D. Nottenbelt, R. Pascoe Guide to Horse Dermatology, Sofia, 2008
  2. Rob Van Nassau Defects and Hoof Diseases, Forging Problems, Aquarium, 2009
  3. David Ramy Laminitis in Horses, Aquarium, 2008
  4. J. A. Butler, C. M. Colles etc Clinical Radiology of the Horse, Blackwell Science, 2000
  5. Edward Robinson Horse Disease. Modern methods of treatment, Aquarium, 2007
  6. Pavward T. M. M. Complete Veterinary Guide to Horse Diseases, Aquarium, 2005
  7. Derek Nottenbelt. Reginald Pascoe Atlas of Horse Diseases, Sofia, 2008
  8. Ted S. Stashak Adams` lameness in the horses

Description of the disease

Between the hoof and the bone lies a lamina plate. It attaches the bone to the inner surface of the hoof. Laminar connection consists of an inanimate and sensitive layer. When it disintegrates, the bone moves away from the hoof, moves, turns around, presses on the stratum corneum of the finger crumb. This phenomenon is called laminitis.

The disease begins with a violation of the blood supply to the legs. Partially or completely, blood stops entering the laminar connection, and blood pressure rises in the vessels. The inflamed hoof heats up, the animal is in pain.

When blood does not enter under the hoofed corolla, necrotic processes begin. In advanced cases, the bone comes out, the hoof shoe falls. At this stage of the disease, the animal cannot be helped.

The mare is limping on the front foot

Laminitis occurs in acute or chronic form. Most often affects the front hooves, the load on them is greater. Inflammation captures one or both legs, disrupts the functioning of internal organs, in rare cases, is completely cured. The animal will need orthopedic forging, regular radiography until the end of life.

Laminitis in horses develops with impaired blood flow. This happens due to tight or incorrect dressings for injuries. In sports horses, the disease begins after excessive training.

Feeding characteristics that cause laminitis

Improper diet leads to dysbiosis of the gastrointestinal tract. Against the background of pathogenic microflora, peripheral circulation is disturbed, which provokes the development of laminitis. Here are typical horse feeding errors that lead to inflammation of the laminar joint:

  • Excessive amounts of fast carbohydrates and lack of fiber.
  • Frequent replacement of hay with concentrates.
  • Overfeeding with grain.
  • Poor hay.
  • Abrupt transition to fresh green grass in the spring.

The risk of getting sick increases with obese horses.

Other reasons

Failure of normal blood supply to the legs is provoked by the following violations:

  • Systemic infections. Laminitis occurs as a complication of toxemia, Cushing's disease, septicemia. During an illness, endotoxins spread in the body, which disrupt blood flow.
  • Orthopedic diseases. The horse redistributes weight from diseased legs to healthy ones, the load on them increases.
  • Postpartum complications, endometritis.
  • Metabolic disorders, hypothyroidism, an imbalance of sex hormones in mares.
  • Abuse of corticosteroids. An overdose of hormone-containing drugs provokes narrowing of the peripheral vessels.
  • Intensive loads on hard ground. Frisky gait on asphalt without depreciation injures laminates.

Mechanical laminitis develops with constant tension of the flexor tendons.

The beginning of the disease is signaled by changes in the behavior of the animal:

  • The horse is limping.
  • It is shifted from one leg to another in an attempt to relieve stress from a sore limb and reduce pain.
  • When the front legs are affected, it pushes them in front of you, transfers the weight to the heel, and presses the hind legs.
  • With inflammation of the four joints, the front legs pushes back, the hind legs in the opposite direction. В этой неустойчивой позе лошадь напоминает детскую игрушку качалку.

Одновременно появляются другие признаки:

  • In the area of ​​the affected hoof, the temperature rises.
  • The pulsation of the finger arteries increases.
  • The horse does not allow touching the leg due to pain.

In advanced cases, the body temperature rises in the animal, the heart rate quickens. The horse sweats, refuses food, does not get up.

Clinical picture

Veterinarians distinguish three stages of the course of the disease:

  • The acute phase lasts the first 72 hours, the symptoms are pronounced.
  • Subacute lasts from 3 to 4 days to several weeks, the specific period depends on the quality of treatment and care. Sometimes the disease proceeds rapidly without a subacute phase.
  • Chronic Symptoms fade, periodically worsen. Pathological changes appear on the hoof: rings on the capsule, deformations of the type “Turkish shoe”, “hedgehog”.

Surgical intervention

In severe cases, the animal is excised ligament flexor finger. The operation is prescribed only with severe deformations in order to relieve the burden on the ungulate bone. Sometimes the hooking part of the wall is removed to discharge exudate, reduce pressure and pain. This method of surgical intervention does not always give the desired result, it is resorted to in extreme cases.

How to feed a horse with laminitis

During treatment, the animal is changed diet:

  • Dry green hay is given without restrictions if it was stored in a dark room for 3 to 6 months.
  • Young grass is prohibited.
  • Concentrates, grains, sugar are excluded.
  • The horse is not overfed, but not kept hungry. For an obese horse, portions are reduced.

Additionally, the veterinarian prescribes a course of multivitamins and mineral supplements. Thyroid hormones are sometimes used to improve metabolic processes.

The disease is rarely completely cured. Horses for life need increased attention, diet, periodic examinations. Assumptions about the quality of life after laminitis are made after x-ray studies. The evaluation criterion is the angle between the dorsal surfaces of the hoofed bone and the horn shoe:

Angle value, ºForecast
less than 5.5favorable
6,6 – 11,5doubtful
more than 11.5adverse

The mobility of the horse depends on the degree of necrotic damage, the amount of hemorrhage, hoof deformation.

Laminitis Prevention

Preventive measures will help reduce the risk of developing laminitis:

  • Fiber is added to the diet, they reduce the proportion of fast carbohydrates. Sugar, starchy products give in minimal doses.
  • Comply with the regimen and norms of feeding. They do not allow the horse to overeat, with the first symptoms of obesity they reduce the daily norm.
  • After infectious diseases, a course of corticosteroid hooves is examined.
  • Physical activity is dosed, it does not allow to strain.

Laminitis in horses reduces the quality of life, the sooner it is identified, the more likely it is to maintain horse mobility.

Laminitis: causes, stages, phases, treatment

Laminitis often called the term "founder" (from the English. founder - to settle), terrifying many owners of horses.

Laminitis is the inflammation of the lamina (crumb cartilage) of the hoof. A problem can take a life-threatening course.

What is a “lamina"?

Laminas are described as finger-shaped tissue protrusions. There are two types of tissue in a horse's hoof: a sensitive (dermal, skin) lamina and an insensitive (epidermal) lamina. These two types of laminas are intertwined, forming a bonding material responsible for holding the hoof wall in the hoof capsule. The mechanism is very similar to how our human nail (its insensitive part) and finger (the sensitive part) join. Each horse's hoof contains approximately 600 primary laminae. Each primary lamina, in turn, contains approximately 100 secondary laminae. Laminate horse hooves are exposed to significant shear (A) and destructive (B) forces as a result of the load from bearing the weight.

How does a lamina inflame?

There are numerous factors that trigger the onset of laminitis. Regardless of the original cause, it is believed that obstructed blood circulation ultimately leads to the development of inflammation of the laminas and pain. This information is important for determining the appropriate course of treatment for laminitis.

Factors that provoke laminitis include:

  • Overfeeding with grain. The consumption of excess grain can change the bacterial balance of the cecum, which is the "fermenting" organ of the gastrointestinal tract. Consequently, lactic acid producing bacteria (such as lactobacilli and streptococci) tend to multiply. The presence of an increased amount of lactic acid (and a decrease in pH) can dissolve the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria. This leads to the release of endotoxins in the cecum. When absorbed into a large circle of blood circulation, endotoxins can cause a violation of peripheral circulation. Circulatory disturbance of the extremities can cause the development of laminitis.
  • Systemic infection and / or endotoxemia. The term "endotoxemia" refers to the presence of endotoxins in the bloodstream. Endotoxins are absorbed into the pulmonary circulation through damaged tissue. A variety of forms of colic can lead to damage to the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract. Endometritis (occurring in case of delayed separation of the placenta) can cause damage to the uterine mucosa. If bacteria are present (and therefore, endotoxins), they can be absorbed through damaged tissue. Once in the bloodstream, endotoxins can greatly affect the perfusion of blood in the limbs and, as a result, the integrity of the lamina. Laminitis caused by the presence of endotoxins in the blood usually has a severe stage.
  • Obesity. Being overweight increases the shear and fracture forces that affect the hoof, thereby contributing to the destruction of the lamina. Hypothyroidism usually leads to weight gain in horses, and therefore is often found to be a factor predisposing to laminitis.
  • Grass consumption. This case is often called grass pasture laminitis and, in general, occurs only in early spring, when new, fresh grass grows. Although the cause of this type of laminitis has not yet been fully explained, it may be a high content of fructose polymers (specific carbohydrates) in the grass.
  • Cold water consumption. Pathophysiology is not fully understood, but the consumption of excess cold water is associated with the occurrence of laminitis.
  • Excessive impact on hooves. Hoof injuries may be associated with variable perfusion of capillaries in the lamin. The condition “foot strike hemolysis” has been described in racehorses and is associated with the breakdown of red blood bodies in the hoof. Vasoconstriction and coagulation are often associated with excessive shock on the hooves.
  • Chronic excess load on the hooves. This case occurs in situations where a horse with a medium or severe stage laminate of one or more limbs is forced to overload another limb. Chronic loading leads to reduced and / or redistributed perfusion in the hoof.
  • Excessive steroids. Excessive steroids in the bloodstream can affect horse horse hoof perfusion. Regardless of the origin of this condition (provoked by a person or a horse), its presence may increase the risk of laminitis. Veterinarians should be aware of the potential risks when using steroids and pay attention to the type of steroids used, recommended doses, method of application and current state of the animal’s health. Some horse conditions can lead to excessive production of endogenous steroids. The most common of these is eosinophilic adenoma (Cushing's syndrome). Recently, this disease has been associated with a significant number of cases of laminitis in older horses. Horses exhibiting signs of laminitis or at risk are recommended treatment for Cushing's syndrome.
  • Hormonal causes. The relationship between hormones and laminitis is currently unclear. In a number of mares, laminitis was observed for no apparent reason. With the onset of estrus (hunting), symptoms quickly pass. In other mares, the development of laminitis is associated with undamped hunting.
  • Absorption of certain substances. Some substances are directly related to the development of laminitis in horses. One example is beet tops.
  • Pain. Pain in horses leads to stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system and the release of catecholamines into the bloodstream. Systemic catecholamines cause peripheral narrowing of blood vessels and a decrease in blood flow to the hoof, which in turn can lead to further destruction of the laminas, inflammation and increased pain. Tearing the “disease cycle” is an important part of the successful treatment of laminitis.
  • Unknown reasons. Many cases of laminitis do not remain unexplained.

Mechanical laminitis (“Mechanical founder”) - a term referring to the loss of integrity of a lamin in the absence of an initial vascular and / or metabolic negative effect in the hoof. Most horses suffering from mechanical laminitis do not show lameness, however, delamination and rotation of the ungulate bone in the ungulate capsule are obvious.

Chronic excess tendon tension of the deep flexor of the fingers is considered the primary cause of mechanical rotation. Excessive tension of the hoofed bone (third phalanx) in the palmar direction can lead to significant distraction along the surface of the laminar border (C). If the distraction is strong enough and / or occurs over a long period of time, separation of the lamina (delamination) may occur. Consequently, there is a chronic thickening of the white line, a sublaminar infection of the "granular finger" ("seedy toe"), and wear of the hoof wall (typical manifestations in horses with mechanical laminitis). The treatment usually consists of orthopedic forging, aimed at normalizing the distal axis of the limb, and facilitates the tendon tension of the deep flexor of the fingers.

What is “digital collapse”?

“Finger collapse” refers to the independent movement of the hoofed bone (third phalanx) in the hoofed capsule. There are two main ways of collapse of the hoofed bone: (1) rotation and (2) lowering.

Rotation means the separation of the dorsal part of the hoof bone (third phalanx) from the dorsal part of the hoof wall (C). During rotation, the angle of the hoof bone begins to differ from the angle of the hoof wall. Since the tension of the tendon of the deep flexor of the fingers plays an important role in rotation (D), the first stage of treatment is the mechanical relief of the tension of the tendon of the deep flexor of the fingers.

Lowering refers to the vertical displacement of the hoof bone relative to the hoof capsule. The ungulate bone (the third phalanx) “slips” through the ungulate capsule towards the surface of the earth. In order for this to happen, laminar bonds must collapse around the entire circumference. Usually the dorsal part of the hoof wall and the hoof bone maintain parallelism. Lowering to a greater extent is a consequence of the effect of vertical gravity (E) acting on the hoof, and not the tendon tension of the deep flexor of the fingers, and therefore this condition is most difficult to cure.

What are the clinical signs of laminitis?

The most obvious sign of laminitis is lameness. Since the horse normally carries more weight on the forelimbs (compared to the hind limbs), clinical signs are usually more pronounced in the forelimbs. In most cases, laminitis affects only the forelimbs. In these cases, the horse often places its hind limbs under the abdomen, and the forelegs pushes forward, transferring weight to the heel of the front hooves. If all four limbs are affected, the horse usually places the forelimbs back and the hind legs forward, creating a very narrow support base. Lameness is usually clearly seen when the horse moves on a hard surface in small circles. The degree of lameness is characterized by the following criteria:

Stage 1: At rest, the horse alternately raises its legs. The horse demonstrates a healthy step, but a truncated gait is observed on a lynx.

Stage 2: The horse willingly moves with a step, but the gait is shortened. The horse’s leg can be raised without difficulty.

Stage 3: The horse is extremely reluctant to move and resist when trying to raise its leg.

Stage 4: The horse refuses to move, but stands willingly.

Stage 5: The horse cannot stand.

Often there is heat in the area of ​​the hoofed corolla and / or the hoof wall, although the data vary widely. Often, the pulse and heart rate increase. In the most serious cases, horses may be anxious.

What are the phases of laminitis?

There are 4 phases of laminitis: developmental phase, acute phase, subacute and chronic phases.

Development phase provoked when a horse experiences or comes into contact with one of the predisposing factors. A horse that, conditionally, has just eaten a large bag of grain, but has not yet shown lameness, will be considered a horse suffering from laminitis in the developmental stage. This stage ends with the development of visible claudication.

Acute phase begins with the manifestation of lameness and lasts until one of two scenarios develops: (1) lasts up to 72 hours without physical or radiographic manifestations of delamination (or rupture of the laminar connection) or (2) finger collapse (rotation and / or lowering. This phase can last from 24 (in acute cases) to 72 hours.

Subacute phase Laminitis begins after a steady manifestation of clinical signs for more than 72 hours. Clinical or radiographic signs of digital collapse do not occur. The duration of this phase varies greatly. During the subacute phase, the hoof tries to recover from damage sustained in the previous phase. Therefore, it can be considered the “treatment phase” of laminitis. Some horses do not survive the subacute phase and immediately (from the acute phase) go into the chronic phase. Others may remain in the subacute stage for a long period of time.

Laminitis goes into chronic stagewhen there is a mechanical collapse of the hoofed bone, regardless of the time when it occurs. This phase can last for a long period of time (months, years, throughout life) and is characterized by persistent lameness and / or deviating hoof growth patterns (numerous lines or “rings” on the hoofed capsule).

What are the goals of treatment?

In some cases, horses are exposed to one or a number of provoking factors of laminitis, but do not show clinical signs. During the development phase, the goal of treating laminitis is to prevent it. Although laminitis in a horse may not develop, aggressive (preventive) treatment is important to neutralize the effects of biomechanical and / or metabolic disorders before they occur. With the manifestation of deviations, treatment is difficult.

The primary goal of therapy during the acute phase is to normalize the laminar layer and to prevent further destruction of the laminar bond. This is achieved by reducing pain, reducing inflammation and minimizing mechanical pressure on the hoof bone while increasing blood flow in the hoof. Horses that do not exhibit laminar and finger collapse separation are more likely to recover completely within 72 hours.

In the subacute stage of laminitis, the goal of therapy is to restore the normal integrity and density of the laminitis, thus avoiding the transition to the acute phase. The horse's response to corrective clearing and forging usually determines the duration of this phase.

In the chronic stage, the main focus of treatment is rehabilitation. Some horses never fully recover and need treatment for the rest of their lives. It can be expected that collapse of the hoofed bone significantly changes the operational pathology and mechanical characteristics of the hoof. Therefore, mechanical support of the hoof, vascular integrity of the lamina, general metabolism, abnormal growth of the hoof wall and pain in the hoof are important points regarding proper treatment in this phase.

What does the treatment of laminitis include?

To effectively treat laminitis, you must:

1. And exclude all provoking factors. Avoid consuming grain and / or large amounts of fresh grass. Returning the normal hoof angle, weight loss, minimizing stress, and controlling metabolic disorders are ways to stop the onset or development of laminitis.

2. Provide mechanical support for the ungulate bone. Since we can no longer rely on the laminar connection with the hoof wall supporting the weight of the limb, we must reduce the shear force between the hoof bone and the hoof wall. This is usually accompanied by sawing the arrow of the hoof far enough back to allow the weight to be transferred to the sole and arrow. (F, G).

3. Minimize stress on the deep finger flexor. Initially, this is achieved by raising the heel relative to the finger, thereby reducing the distance between the beginning and attachment of the deep flexor of the fingers. Использование пяточных клиньев (H) сокращает напряжение глубокого сгибателя пальцев и, следовательно, снижает деструктивные силы, действующие на область соединения ламины.

Однако изменение угла копытной кости может приводить к увеличению сдвигающего усилия. Therefore, the use of calcaneal wedges can be harmful in cases where the lowering of the hoof bone is obvious.

When laminar integrity is restored, the hoof can return to its normal angle. Of course, this takes time. In severe cases, surgery in the form of a distal auxiliary desmotomy or tenotomy of the deep flexor of the fingers may be necessary to effectively relieve tension from the deep tendon of the flexor of the fingers.

4. Pain reduction. Since pain can adversely affect blood flow to the hoof (through the release of catecholamine), achieving maximum comfort is a major part of restoring the integrity of the lamina and starting treatment. Local anesthetics (supporting blocks), painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are effective ways to relieve pain.

5. Reducing inflammation in the hoof capsule. A sign of inflammation is vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels. With inflammation, the walls of the vessels become more permeable. The increased permeability of the walls of the vessels leads to the ingress of protein fluid from the vessels into adjacent tissues. This extravascular fluid is called edema (edema). The rigidity of the hoof wall together with the formation of edema can lead to the development of interfascial space syndrome, due to which the increased introlaminar pressure (caused by the presence of edema) leads to further restriction of vascular perfusion in the hoof.

6. The anti-inflammatory agent often used to treat laminitis is phenylbutazone. Its effectiveness is partly determined by the vasodilating effect, which improves perfusion in the hoof.

7. Improving blood flow to the hoof. Phenylbutazone, aspirin, isoxssuprin, nitroglycerin, and acetylpromazine are drugs often used in an attempt to improve vascular perfusion in the hoof.

The main characteristic of the disease

Due to constant training or incompetence during bandaging the horse's legs, her limbs may be deprived of normal blood supply. Subsequently, this leads to acute circulatory failure in the legs. When the limbs do not get the right amount of blood, then fluid begins to accumulate in them. In large volumes, this fluid exerts strong pressure on hoofed plates and other soft tissues. It is the fact of the presence of strong pressure that causes excessive pain in the horse's legs. In strength, this pain can vary from very severe to imperceptible, but over time it will grow.

The horse will constantly be disturbed by leg pain, regardless of whether it will walk or stand. The phalanges of the fingers under the hoof will constantly press on it. In the most severe cases, the phalanx can pierce the sole of the horse's hoof. It is easy to guess that such a condition will cause severe pain, as well as completely remove the horse from its usual rhythm of life. You can forget about training and riding.

laminitis horse

The appearance of laminitis in a horse is a signal for the beginning of immediate treatment. If the owner of the horse does not want to lose his prize horse, he must act very quickly and correctly.

In addition to excessive training and strong hoof dressing, there are other causes of laminitis in horses. The most prosaic, so to speak, problem is an unorganized and unbalanced diet. Here it is necessary to note the fact that most diseases are due to poor diet. In turn, horse laminitis appears if the horse is not fed or receives a good balanced diet, but without the corresponding load. In other words, she receives a lot of vitamins, but they simply do not give her to process them.

Laminitis in horses can be caused by the containment of the placenta immediately after childbirth: this happens very rarely, but you should always remember about it.

Quite often, the disease can be caused by certain veterinary drugs, for example, thiabendazole and cortisone. In addition, some anthelmintic drugs can cause laminitis if they are given in large quantities by horses.

It should be noted that during Cushing's syndrome, laminitis acts as a symptom.

What feeding habits cause laminitis?

Horses that graze in spring suffer from laminitis. The thing is that at this time the most active growth of grass occurs and as a result, the animal consumes a large amount of this element. As we know, grass has an extremely detrimental effect on horse health. Another negative factor is the diet through which horses live before shows. It contains nutrients containing a large amount of starch. It is given to provide a "pompous" type of horse.

Thus, we see the fact that feeding is a key factor in laminitis in horses. The imbalance and disorganization of this process can jeopardize the entire prize career of a horse.

Physiological description of the process of laminitis

Horse laminitis causes an array of different physiological processes in the horse's body. At the very beginning, the normal blood supply to the skin leaves of the hoof ceases. It is not necessary that the blood flow process ceases altogether. This may occur gradually, but the outcome will be the same. Blood pressure will be so strong that necrosis begins. Complete destruction of the skin leaf layer will cause severe pain and an increase in hoof temperature. Due to necrosis, a distortion of the mechanism that keeps the hoof in the correct condition occurs. As a result of this process, the ungulate bone may come out or begin to put very strong pressure on the sole of the hoof.

horse hoof

The horse cannot be saved if the hoof shoe is completely exposed to necrosis. At the same time, the process of tissue death will no longer be stopped. He will move further along the body of the horse.

During laminitis, a peculiar tumor can be observed in the horse, which will be perfectly visible behind the white line of the hooking part of the hoof. It appears due to the accumulation of blood in the area between the hoof and the skin. The presence of a hematoma in this place, at the junction of the horse’s bone and skin, will cause the most severe pain. Very often, animals cannot walk due to a similar tumor.

visual description of laminitis

It so happens that the hoof bone is lowered, and not turned. In this case, the whisk of the hoof is completely destroyed. Such a process will lead to the inability to eliminate the effects of damage caused to the ungulate bone. Unfolded hoofed bones quite often deform under the pressure exerted on them. In this case, it will be impossible to cure the ungulate bone. Due to deformation, infection of the entire hoof may also begin.