Laminitis (commonly called “founder”) affects an estimated 7-14% of the world’s equine population. It’s the inflammation of the tiny, interwoven lamellae that attach a horse’s hoof to the underlying coffin bone (third phalanx, or P3) and support the horse’s entire body weight. Anything that impacts the integrity of the lamellae, such as inflammation, weakens their hold. This causes the coffin bone to displace within the hoof capsule and move toward the ground. The condition is very painful and is often life-threatening to horses.
The same disease has several different causes, which include:
Low-starch forage and weight loss can help horses with laminitis regain their foothold.
Researchers assessed laminitis risks in a population of 707 donkeys and found they differ significantly from those of horses and ponies.
Learn about the differences, and a few key similarities, between these two endocrine diseases.
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