New Research from Auburn University

Clinical Outcome of 14 Obese, Laminitic Horses Managed with the Same Rehabilitation Protocol Abstract


A specific method of rehabilitation was used to manage obese horses with laminitis, and clinical outcome was evaluated after 5 to 20 months. Clinical data from 14 similar laminitis cases were statistically analyzed to evaluate responseto rehabilitation. Data were analyzed using repeated measures or logistic regression methodologies. Each horse presented as obese and laminitic with no history of a systemic inflammatory disease. The rehabilitation method emphasized a mineral-balanced, low nonstructural carbohydrate diet; daily exercise; hoof trimming that minimized hoof wall loading; and sole protection in the form of rubber hoof boots and/or hoof casts. Distal phalanx alignment within the hoof capsule was significantly improved, and hoof wall thickness was significantly decreased (P < .0001) following treatment. Solar depth was significantly increased (P < .0015). Reduction of palmar angle measurements was detected in acutely and chronically affected horses. This treatment effect was statistically greater for horses with chronic laminitis than for horses with acute laminitis (P interaction < .0001). Horses were 5.5 times more likely to be sound post-treatment than before treatment. Daily exercise, dietary modification, and removal of ground reaction force from the hoof wall were foci of the rehabilitation program. Hoof care and husbandry as applied to these horses may be an effective method of rehabilitation of horses from obesity-associated laminitis.  Below is the link to the full paper: