IS LAMINITIS IN A HORSE CURABLE OR IS JUST MANAGEABLE? OR WILL THE HORSE EVER BE SOUND AGAIN?
It can be a very difficult disease to manage in some horses and some situations, but yes...it can be treated and many horses return to full soundness. The odds of this are greater the earlier they receive appropriate treatment with anti-inflammatory therapy, changes in feed, and reduced movement with soft bedding (conservative initial therapy). Additional treatments including additional medications and special trimming techniques and pads can be added in severe cases or if the horse doesn't respond to initial therapy within a few days. Again, I would advise having your veterinarian confirm this, but in my experience laminitis is the most common cause of sudden onset of lameness in all 4 feet, especially with recent feed increases.
The inflammation of the lamina (the connection between the hoof wall and the bone inside the hoof) with laminitis can alter its structure and put a horse at increased risk of recurrence, so he may require more limitations on feed and activity level as well as monitoring for recurrence. But thankfully many of the horses in my practice area do return to soundness and previous level of work, so hope is not lost.
Large animal veterinarian and horse owner.
SORRY TO BOTHER AGAIN,BUT WHAT EXACTLY DOES "ANTI-INFLAMMATORY THERAPY" MEAN? IS IT SOMETHING I CAN DO AT HOME, COULD YOU GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES OF TREATMENTS? ALSO YOU MENTIONED "CHANGES IN FEED" I CURRETLY FEED TWO SCOOPS OF SENIOR FEED IN THE MORNING AND A FLAKE OF ALFALFA..SAME AT NIGHT..SO WHAT SHOULD THE DIET CHANGE TO?
No bother at all...please feel free to continue to ask questions as long as anything is still unclear! What I mean by "anti-inflammatory therapy" is drugs to decrease inflammation. This would be either Bute, Banamine, or Equioxx (Bute = phenylbutazone, probably the most common and least expensive). They're part of the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS)...same class as Aleve or ibuprofen for people. They can't be purchased at a feed store so would need to be obtained from your vet. They decrease the inflammation of the laminae, and the sooner this can be accomplished the less damage may be done to the tissue.Feed wise, I would recommend changing to just grass hay only until the pain is under control. Alfalfa and senior feeds are much more rich and a sudden switch to them may be the source of the problem. After he's been doing better for a few weeks you could try slowly adding in some alfalfa or senior feed to increase the calorie intake (though wouldn't feed more than half the diet as alfalfa).Another inexpensive way to supplement that I recommend to some people is feeding grass hay and supplementing with soaked shredded beet pulp plus 1/2 to 1c. soybean (or any vegetable) oil. Beet pulp is high in fiber and higher in protein than grass hay, and the oil helps add calories that are safer than the simple sugars in many grains. Senior feeds can also be a good way to supplement as well...just an additional idea.Again, please let me know if you have any additional questions and I'll be happy to address them. Best of luck!