Equine Lameness Examinations
Every day veterinarians across the country see hundreds of laminitis cases, a painful disease that affects the feet of horses.
Your North State Equine Services
Blood flow to the sensitive and insensitive laminae within the foot, which binds the coffin bone to the hoof wall, is disrupted, resulting in laminitis. While the exact mechanisms that cause damage to the feet are unknown, some triggering circumstances can cause laminitis. Although laminitis affects the feet, it is often caused by a problem elsewhere in the horse’s body.
The following are symptoms of acute laminitis:
- Lameness, particularly when a horse is going in circles; fluctuating lameness when a horse is standing.
- The feet are hot.
- Digital pulse in the feet has increased.
- When pressure is given with hoof testers, it causes pain in the toe region.
- As if “stepping on eggshells,” cautious or hesitant gait.
- The front feet are extended out in front to relieve pressure on the toes, and the back feet are “camped out” or positioned farther back than usual to bear greater weight.
- Rings in the hoof wall that get broader as you go from toe to heel.
- Stone bruises or bruised soles.
- Widening white line, sometimes known as “seedy toe,” with blood pockets and/or abscesses.
- Flat feet or dropped soles.
- Crusty, thick neck.