In its mildest form laminitis presents as a mild lameness, a reluctance to move, or, if more severely affected, the animal lying down to try and get some relief from its painful feet. Sometimes the horse will be sweating, groaning and blowing giving rise to the misdiagnosis of colic. During severe attacks, however, the attachment between the pedal bone and hoof capsule starts to fail. This is described as foundering. The most severe form of founder is where the pedal bone becomes loose within the hoof and is described as a "sinker" - the majority of cases of which will die without rapid and expert treatment.
Robert Eustace says:
"We recognise that laminitis can be brought on by a variety of factors,
including stress. Trauma to the feet caused by excessive work on hard
surfaces can cause laminitis particularly in show jumpers and endurance
horses. But it is a fact that as
Just one aspect of the work of The Laminitis Trust has been to pioneer an approval mark for horse feeds to guide owners towards those feed products which are safer to use both to prevent laminitis and during the treatment period. To carry the approval mark, feeds have to be submitted for scrutiny by The Laminitis Trust's Scientific Committee. Dengie, Dodson & Horrell and Spillers are manufacturing a selection of feeds which carry the Laminitis Trust Approval Mark and, to support National Laminitis Awareness Month, are producing helpful fact sheets and recommended diets.
Robert Eustace concludes:
"Laminitis is not a condition to be taken lightly. I have witnessed
at first hand the misery it can cause. We intend that National Laminitis
Awareness Month will create a platform whereby many of the old wives'
tales and misinformation are finally put to rest. Further vital research
is essential, but until a cure is found, owners have the solution in their
own hands. Sensible feeding and management are, in the majority of cases,
the key to ending the unnecessary pain and suffering caused by laminitis.
Advice is available on the website www.laminitis-org.