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What is Laminitis?

Laminitis is caused by a disruption in the junction between the sensitive and insensitive tissues of the hoof, known as the basement membrane. This leads to a loss of structural support between the hoof wall and the distal phalanx (or coffin bone), the last bone in the foot. The bone then rotates or sinks within the hoof. Once bone rotation happens, affected horses are more prone to future incidents of laminitis because the hoof wall-bone connection never re-forms satisfactorily. In some cases, the disease can progress to the point that the bone comes through the sole of the foot, which typically requires euthanasia of the horse for humane reasons. 3 Phases of Laminitis Developmental – when the triggers that lead to laminitis are at work. This stage lasts about 20 to 60 hours after exposure. Clinical signs are not noticeable. Acute – pain and lameness become evident as the laminae become…

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