Equine Laminitis Current Conceptsby Christopher C. Pollitt
Publisher: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
ISBN: 978-1741516510Project No. RIRDC UQ-118A
Code: No. 08/062
The horse industry makes a significant economic and cultural contribution to Australia, and the
maintenance of horse health and welfare is a primary concern of owners, trainers and veterinarians
alike. Laminitis is a painful and devastating disease that can cripple a horse and end its productive
life. There has been a considerable amount of research over recent years to try to understand laminitis,
but scientists have struggled to reconcile the wide range of apparently unrelated factors which can
trigger the condition.
This report describes four research projects that initially focussed on the developmental and acute
stages of laminitis. The research teams involved in these projects included microbiologists, molecular
biologists, pathologists, electron microscopists, physiologists and endocrinologists, and this unique
critical mass has enabled significant contributions to the understanding of laminitis. As new
knowledge accrued a successful preventive strategy, employing distal limb cryotherapy, was
developed that is now the only scientifically proven laminitis preventive.
The importance of this report is that it provides an overview of laminitis for horse owners,
veterinarians and scientists. It describes the anatomy, physiology and ultrastructure of the horse’s foot
to form a basis for understanding the complex pathology that underpins the disease. It describes the
radiology of the horse’s foot and introduces the new technique of retrograde venography.