Equine Vets Explain Laminitis in The Horse 'Webinar'

Leading Equine veterinarians Drs. Rustin Moore and Jim Belknap of The Ohio State University were the featured speakers during the inaugural web-based seminar -- or “webinar” -- presented by The Horse magazine May 23.

Moore called the disease “particularly frustrating,” saying the low recovery rate among horses stricken by the degenerative condition is disheartening to those in the fields of veterinary medicine and research. According to one study cited by the speaker, approximately 75% of horses afflicted with laminitis develop a chronic illness that usually results in humane destruction.

“Laminitis is a disease that doesn’t discriminate,” said Moore, chairman of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s important that we understand it due to the extreme emotional and economic effect it has on us.”

Moore and Belknap covered various topics related to laminitis, including the differences between laminitis and founder, the reasons for common causes resulting in laminitis, and how horse owners can work with their veterinarians to treat laminitis when it occurs. The life-threatening disease has long been a subject of detailed research in veterinary medicine, but came to the forefront of the racing industry with the death of Barbaro, winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), who succumbed to the disease Jan. 29.  

During the webinar sponsored by Vettec, AIRshod, Delta Hoof Care Products, and Equi Life, Belknap explained the gradual effects of laminitis and touched on medication methods that have been used to successfully treat the disease. Belknap is an associate professor of equine surgery at Ohio State.

More than 1,077 participants registered for The Horse’s inaugural webinar. Although a date for the next session has yet to be determined, the series will continue to feature guests focusing on health and wellness issues in the equine industry. Suggestions for future topics or featured speakers may be sent to editorial@thehorse.com.

- TheHorse.com Special Edition E-Newsletter: Lameness & Laminitis