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September 2020 - Anglesey - Laminitis - Day 1

I've been looking forward to the laminitis module as I have a little lami prone pony myself and have always known that his trim had to differ slightly to Sallys and now I was going to start understand why in more detail (the EP I had been using has always been great for explaining things as she went but there's so much more to learn which could never be covered in an hours appointment).

We started the day with a definition of Laminitis- inflammation of the laminar corium. This in itself makes it sound like it should be so simple to understand, diagnose and treat and yet it is amongst the most complex conditions that a horse can develop.

To start with there's the developmental stage, followed by acute and chronic cases. With a chronic case, there are always signs or evidence of previous (sometimes very small) acute attacks, whether these are obviously visible, within the horses history or both. The chronic cases can sometimes be mistaken for the horse being lazy or a bit naughty, always pulling to the grass or reluctant to pick up feet.

We also learnt to recognise the signs of both acute and chronic rotation and sinker. All laminitis attacks must be diagnosed by a vet but as an Equine Podiatrist we can help provide immediate support and comfort by way of boots and pads and during discussions with the vet can agree on a treatment plan that includes ongoing management, feeding and trimming.

Finally today we also looked at the stance of a laminitic horse. Did you know that the classic position of front feet right out in front and rocked right back on the heels relieves pain from the toes of the front feet but if the horse is suffering laminitis in the hind feet, then the hind legs will be far forward and with chronic low grade laminitis in the hind feet, the signs may be much subtler, with just the appearance of being camped under behind.

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