Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Laminitis In Horses

What is laminitis?

Laminitis is an emerging disease in ungulates. There is a diffuse aseptic inflammation of the mouth dermis, where the hoof capsule separates from the dermis. Acute laminitis is an emergency and requires immediate treatment; in extreme cases it can lead to shedding its. Chronic deer can lead to a coffin bone rotation.

Laminitis causes

A laminitis may be due to several causes. They have in common that they lead to a disruption of the microcirculation of blood in the corium.

The Belastungsrehe caused by overloading of the hoof. It is mainly caused by long walking on hard surfaces ("Marschrehe") or by overloading of a hoof z. B. after the immobilization of the opposite leg. Even long stable phases can lead to a deer ("Stallrehe") due to the disturbance caused by the blood circulation.

The Futterrehe is the most widely used and laminitis is caused by incorrect feeding. A carbohydrate-rich diet promotes the development of metabolic disorders. Loose structure, carbohydrate-rich feed (z. B. cereals) lead to an explosive growth of streptococci (carbohydrate-splitting bacteria) in the colon and to a massive release of lactic acid. This caused a mass extinction of rohfaserverdauenden bacteria and the release of toxins (endotoxins) and acidification in the entire organism. Similarly, probably damaged the intestinal tanaman due to water absorption by absorbing large quantities of cold water and endotoxins are released at the deer.
A Geburtsrehe can occur by remaining small parts of the placenta in the uterus. This leads to a bacterial decomposition and absorption of endotoxins in the blood stream.
When Vergiftungsrehe in the intestine similar operations as in the Futterrehe be triggered. Poisoning can occur when shooting poisonous plants such. As vetches, black locust, castor and acorns as well as herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, molds, fungal spores and snake bite. Occasionally, however, are also vaccinations and deworming triggers a Vergiftungsrehe when a massive parasitic infestation was present and large numbers parasites die. There is an incubation period of 2 to 21 days.
Certain medications can be the cause of a Medikamentenrehe. With particular suspected of cortisone preparations.
A deer can also arise as incidental or consequential disease in Cushing's syndrome, thyroid disorders, menstrual disorders of the mare (duration horses or lack of Rosse), colic (poisoning by colonic fermentation) and intestinal inflammation as a result of diarrhea and as a result of hyperlipidemia (high blood fats) or cross crate. Also electricity or lightning can cause local inflammation and thus a deer.


In hoof it comes to pathogenesis of inflammation in it (blood cells) causes a local circulatory disturbance with leakage of tissue fluid and solid constituents of the blood vessels of the dermal lamellae. It comes to an edema and swelling. This fluid leakage caused by the lack of expansion option in the hoof severe pain. In addition, the liquid outlet promotes the detachment process of the zipper-like interlocking dermal lamellae (inside) of the epidermal lamellae (outside).

In the early phase of an adrenaline leads to a narrowing of arterioles with a (just a few seconds to minutes of) hypoperfusion. In the second phase, the Arteriolenspasmus dissolves under the influence of the autonomic nervous system, resulting in a local congestion (hyperemia) results. Finally, so-called lead. Mediators to the narrowing of venules with blood stasis (stasis), which is associated with sludge phenomenon, platelet aggregation, thrombosis, Permeabilitätsstörung and exudation.

With existence of inflammation over 48 hours is called chronic deer. Consequences can a decrease of the coffin bone in the capsule, a rotation of the hoof to the coffin joint, the Hufbeinspitze tends towards the ground, or the combination of the two variants.

In severe deer the Hufbeinspitze exerts strong pressure on the sole. The Hufbeinspitze differs from the pressure from below, by deforming ("ski tip") or in the degrades bone. In more severe cases the Hufbeinspitze breaking through the sole (Hufbeindurchbruch).

The simpulan stage is the shedding its where the hoof capsule detaches completely. By the majority of veterinarians proceeds of the animal is advised at this stage. Here, too, curing is theoretically possible. In the conventional treatment, however, the horse has to spend up to 2 years of his life mostly lying and hanging. The success of therapy can not be guaranteed.

Laminitis symptoms

At the beginning is a rather cooler than normal hoof condition detected. Since this condition is only in the range of minutes, this first symptom is rarely noticed. When inflammation has already occurred, a warmer hoof is observed. The coronet is slightly swollen. The horses show a clammy, sluggish transition, ie, the steps are short and flat, stiff later. The stiffness of the movements is particularly evident in the tight turns of the horse. An increased pulsation of the digital arteries can be felt at the back of the fetlock head. When scanning the sole with the Hufuntersuchungszange shows an increased pain.

Are all four legs or only the front legs of the deer affected, is the horse's hind legs forward under the belly and shifted the weight on the hindquarters and on the heels (Ballenfußung). Are the hind legs ill, the horse brings the front legs far back under the belly, lower than counterbalance the head and strain on the hind feet alternately. If only one leg affected, it will uphold this.

As a sign of General Symptom there is an increase in the breathing (normal 8-16 / min at rest) and pulse rate (normal 30-44 per minute), may experience fever (> 38.4 ° C). Other signs include frequent lying, pain, anxiety, and restlessness.

Acute laminitis is divided by a four-stage model:

-Grade 1: In the quiet of the horse's hooves constantly alternately lifts. In step no lameness can be seen at the trot the gait is short and stiff.
-Grade 2: The horse goes forward in step indeed willing, but stiff. Picking up a foot is possible without difficulties.
-Grade 3: The horse moves very reluctantly and fiercely resists the attempt to pick up a foot.
-Grade 4: The horse refuses to move. It is only by bringing forced to work. Possibly also the seizure by excessive pain is set.

Emergency measures

The immediate understanding of a veterinarian is a top priority at the deer.

Ideal is the immediate and sustained cooling of the affected hooves with very cold water. In a pinch, the hooves can also be placed in a bucket of cold water. Cooling of the hooves helps to inhibit the inflammation process and relieves the pain. After consultation with the vet, if its arrival still takes several hours by other emergencies, aspirin be administered.

An immediate change in diet is recommended for all species of deer, not just at the Futterrehe. It should only hay and straw, possibly supplemented by moderate doses of apples and carrots, are fed. In the acute phase of the deer and for prophylaxis, it is recommended to use forage with low forage value (low protein and fructan, z. B. oat straw and hay deposited) as a staple food or to reduce the Heugabe and replace it with straw. Heavily pregnant (9 to 11 months) and lactating mares should, because they have an increased energy demand, get fat feed additive, since they do not require the Rehegeschehen latest findings. The enzyme bromelain (pineapple and kiwis in) a protective function is also attributed to.

The horse should, if possible, put on a soft surface and stress are avoided. If transport is required, the hooves with sponges or associations can be padded.

Laminitis treatment by the veterinarian

In acute deer improve circulation and pain management are paramount. Here, for example, acepromazine, heparin (can demonstrably prevent the emergence of deer), Ginkgo biloba and aspirin used. Diuretics can reduce by draining edema in the early stage. Accompanying can be administered detoxification (liver therapeutics) and kidney-stimulating substances, and homeopathic remedies, but for which there is no proof of effectiveness.

Chronic Reheformen require the clarification of the changes by X-ray or computed tomography images.

There are three types of Rehegipsen. The meaning lies in the utter relief of aching, injured toe by shifting weight to the heel region and the counteraction of the train of the deep flexor tendon, to prevent or stop the associated rotation of the coffin bone.
The lower Rehegips is provided solely on the hoof in deer easier, with the advantages described above. It can be easily mounted directly to immediate therapy in the stable.
The mean Rehegips already draws on the fetlock to support the body weight. Here, the plaster is laid around the entire hoof up to the fetlock to the lower support of the hoof.
The high Rehegips is necessary for even heavier Reheveränderungen. This is applied to beneath the front knee in order to achieve a better distribution of the load. The middle and high Rehegips can and should be applied only under hospital conditions, as this necessitates a difficult, absolute accuracy and a suspension or more severe arresting and immediately accessible to any special tools removing the incorrectly positioned gypsum.

Rehegips place high demands on all participants. Pressure changes under the sole can go unnoticed and uncared for, chafing with risk of infection can be caused by the gypsum and the absolutely vital cooling the toe is not so difficult or impossible. In addition, an additional risk of injury caused by tripping. In addition to the structure of a Rehegipses especially in medium and high Rehegips not be overwhelmed, or after a short time he has no longer the supporting function in the desired form, as it carries the full weight of the horse.

Bloodletting and leeching

When phlebotomy volumes of up to 5 liters of blood are taken, which are dependent on size and weight of the horse. Calculated the correct amount as follows: 9% of body weight in the horse is blood, 10% of this amount of blood can be removed. However, the blood loss is usually held on the quantitative lower limit in order to avoid the risk of circulatory collapse. The exact mechanism of action is unknown.

Another so-called holistic method of treatment of the deer is the local application of leeches. Here, at least four leeches at the coronet be placed along the affected hoof.

There is no scientific proof of efficacy for both methods.

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