Several years ago a pony at my barn foundered. She had looked ouchy for awhile and her owners took a wait and see approach. Finally, one day I looked at her and as she stood there, she was shifting her weight in a way that I had read laminitis can present. Still they didn’t call the vet. I had never seen a case of laminitis and didn’t push it probably as hard as I should have.
The next day a woman visited the barn who happened to be a vet. She looked at the mare, checked for a digital pulse, and said, “call your vet yesterday.” The pony foundered, experiencing 12% and 14% rotations of both front coffin bones.
Everyone should learn about laminitis so that they can recognize the early signs and hopefully prevent their horse or pony from foundering. Early treatment can make a huge difference.
Here’s a good start. Laminitis Diagnosis and Treatment is a FREE webinar offered by http://www.thehorse.com. It is a practical explanation of laminitis, diagnostic imaging, interpretation, and treatment principles. The presenteres include Amy Rucker, DVM, Midwest Equine; Joanne Kramer, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, University of Missouri Clinical Assistant Professor; Nicholas Frank, BSc Hons, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, Section Chief of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Tennessee and it includes questions from those who attended the webinar.
As for the pony at my barn? She recovered and is now sound. However, it was a very traumatic event both for the pony and her owners that went on for weeks, during which it was unclear whether she would make it. No horse, pony or human should have to suffer through that.
More on laminitis in a future post!