Podcast #032 – The AAEP Discusses Laminitis In Horses

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

On October 13th, 2021, The American Association Of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) had a virtual meeting of 4 professionals caring for horses suffering from laminitis. This is a crippling and often life-ending painful affliction of the hooves of horses. I attended in hopes of updating myself with new information I could pass on to your listeners.

Discussions revolved around the determinants of severity from diagnostic images. It involved high-resolution X-rays with specific measurements, venograms (images of the blood flow in the hoof) and even advanced imaging machines practitioners don’t have access to. The application of support in shoes and cushioned boots was discussed. Finally, the benefits of cold therapy, shoeing angles and even deep digital tenotomy (cutting of the tendon) were examined concerning relevance and effectiveness.

There were two mentions of nutrition. The first was a brief comment that insulin needs to be reduced. The second mentioned that increased survival rates were associated with higher hoof growth rates. However, there was no mention of how to do these in horses.

I review how insulin is involved in response to nutrition, as well as the role of protein in the development of hooves. I believe that preventing laminitis is far better than curing it, and the hoof can never be restored to the original configuration after the laminae are destroyed. While these men would be the ones to seek out when laminitis strikes, I believe that ALL practitioners (vets and farriers) would love the day they never see another case of laminitis. This podcast is about doing just that.

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      1. Another comment that was lost technically was from KarenM:

        “Whew, laminitis. Knock wood, I’ve only had two encounters. One was my elderly pony in the early 90s. The vet taped wooden blocks to his feet. Fortunately he recovered fine. The other was a TB broodmare belonging to our trainer, who had just foaled and foundered a week or so later. Horrible. Rotated out through her sole and had to be euthanized. Although I always appreciated our trainer exposing me to everything that can go wrong, this was one I would have gladly skipped.”