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21 February 2019   
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 Equine Ailments
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  Locking Patella
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  Ringbone and
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  (nettle rash, hives)
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Equine Ailments - A to Z

Laminitis - a common, painful, and potentially disastrous condition of the horse's foot. Basically it is a state of congestion affecting the vascular system within the hoof. This leads to an increase in the volume of blood in the pedal vascular system and consequently a great deal of pressure builds in the horny unyielding hoof. It is extremely painful and varies depending on the degree of pressure and may be described as acute, sub acute or chronic. The cause may be anything that upsets the vascular balance within the feet; excessive work especially if the horse has not been kept fit by regular exercise and then is pushed too fast for too long a distance; Idleness and need of exercise i.e. horses that are kept stabled for a long time without proper exercise particularly if they are on a high protein diet; digestive disturbances i.e. too much rich high protein food; new spring grass may be the cause of laminitis in a gluttonous horse 'grass laminitis' ; febrile and debilitating diseases; A horse is considered to have laminitis when there is a failure of attachment between the coffin bone (distal or third phalanx or P3) and the inner aspect of the hoof wall. Treatment - in the first instance one should attempt to relieve the acute congestion, pressure and pain. The vet may prescribe Histamine or anti-inflammatory pain relievers (bute). Alternating hot poultices and cold compresses may be helpful. Once the immediate acute pain has subsided it is good to get the horse moving as exercise restores the vascular balance within the foot. Laminitis may in many cases be prevented. Care should be taken to prevent it wherever possible.

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