Main Types of Laminitis

April 14, 2021

Laminitis isn’t the same for all horses—and a lot of that has to do with the reason the laminitis occurred. Although there there are lots of reasons for laminitis to affect a horse, those reasons can be boiled down to four categories:

An inflammatory disease process. Systemic illnesses create a sudden laminitis as the horse’s body goes into a state of systemic inflammation. This can happen after a colic, a case of pneumonia, a retained placenta, and the like.

Metabolic disorders. The horse with PPID (Cushing’s Disease), Insulin Resistance, and other metabolic conditions is at a higher risk of laminitis than other horses. Age is not a factor here, but commonly diet and exercise are. 

A severe lameness, infection, or fracture in one limb can cause supporting limb laminitis. A horse will favor the injured leg, transferring weight and stress to the healthy limb which ultimately leads to laminitis in the healthy leg.  

Repetitive trauma, such as road founder, is also a cause of laminitis. In cases like this, a single incident can be the culprit, or it can develop over time from the repetition of work. Hard surfaces are often involved.

Ice Horse is fortunate to be able to have Dr. James Orsini from the New Bolton Center, a leading laminitis expert, on our panel of distinguished professional experts. The video below offers his explanation of the types of laminitis in horses. Enjoy! 

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