Managing Two Common Laminitis Complications

With proper diagnostics, correct treatment, and careful management, many horses can overcome laminitis complications.
Dropped Sole
Horses with solar prolapse (when a rotated or dropped coffin bone causes the sole to bulge outward, seen here) might benefit from wooden clogs. | Photo: Courtesy Dr. Daisy Bicking

Laminitis itself is a precarious condition, but complications can make cases even more challenging to manage. Two of the most common complications veterinarians face are injuries to the subsolar tissues (the soft tissue located between the coffin bone and the hard/keratinized sole, in front of the frog) and sole, such as coffin bone penetration and subsolar abscesses.

At the 2017 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 17-21 in San Antonio, Texas, James Belknap, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, gave veterinarians tips on how to evaluate and manage these difficult scenarios.

Horses that develop complications typically exhibit more severe lameness (usually in one limb) and, possibly, an increased heart rate and increased recumbency (time spent lying down), said Belknap, a professor with a special interest in laminitis at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in Columbus.

“The question is whether the pain is coming from the sole or the lamellae,” he

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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