How to Support Horses With Acute or Chronic Laminitis

Researcher: Treating chronic laminitis will always be difficult, so prevention is key.

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How to Support the Horse with Acute or Chronic Laminitis
Standing on sand and soaking in ice water are the two things that help severe acute laminitis the most, said van Eps. | Photo: Erica Larson/The Horse

“My horse has laminitis. What do I do?” Even though we might know the fundamentals—cool the feet, provide support, address pain—it can be helpful to ask veterinarians researching the painful hoof disease for updated advice on how to manage cases. Recommendations do change as researchers learn more about laminitis.

Andrew van Eps, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, is associate professor of equine musculoskeletal research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s (Penn Vet) New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square. He and his colleagues focus on laminitis in the van Eps Laboratory at Penn Vet, working to understand why it occurs in different clinical situations. Along the way they’ve found or confirmed the efficacy of mechanical methods to help both acutely and chronically laminitic horses.

Van Eps reviewed these approaches for veterinarians and farriers during the 11th annual Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners (NEAEP) symposium, held Sept. 25-28, 2019, in Saratoga Springs, New York

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Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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