A Radical Treatment for Acute Laminitis

Last summer, researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) experimented with a way to stop laminitis in its tracks, using a single screw to prevent coffin bone rotation. The term laminitis refers to the inflammation of sensitive structures within the hoof called lamellae. There are numerous causes, and depending on the trigger, a horse may recover fully or the condition may become chronic, leading to founder. When a horse founders, the lamellae that bind the hoof wall to the underlying coffin bone become inflamed. During this very painful process, the coffin bone loses support at the front of the hoof, begins to separate from the hoof wall and rotates, or sinks, within the hoof. During the initial, or acute, inflammation stage, the goal of care providers is to reduce the inflammation with medication or ice in order to prevent the coffin bone from rotating. Last summer, fourth-year veterinary…

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