Horses Health Cards N°08. The Horse's Fury

The laminitis is a disease of the vascular system of the foot: the foot is no longer well irrigated. The causes of laminitis are various, but all lead to alterations of the foot. It is also a real medical emergency.

The predisposing factors are:

  • The ingestion of an excessive amount of food (grain or grass too rich)
  • The absorption of water too cold (watering lamina) if the horse is very hot.
  • Trauma (road warping) eg hard work on hard ground.
  • Generalized infections
  • Some corticosteroid treatments
  • Obesity
  • The laminitis may be acute or chronic. The horse, touched by the anterior, carries them forward and brings his hind legs back under him, in order to relieve the anterior. The horse touched to the 4 limbs is often lying and is reluctant to get up. The feet are hot, the horse breathes strongly, can sweat and have a fever.

Depending on the severity of the laminitis, the horse moves, but its trotting is a bit piqued and the more the laminitis is severe, the more the horse is lame and refuses to move. Untreated, the lamina leads to the rotation of the 3rd phalange which can perforate the sole. In severe cases, the horse remains lying. The laminitis can lead to the loss of the hoof or the death of the animal in very severe cases. The laminitis becomes chronic either after 48 hours if the pain persists, or when the rotation of the third phalanx has occurred.

The treatment consists of administering anti-inflammatories and promoting a good revascularization of the foot. The horse can be placed in a box whose litter is replaced by sand that supports the foot. The horse is hay only. A special fitting is installed if necessary. The other care will be dictated by the attending veterinarian. Radiographic monitoring is required to monitor the third phalanx.