Many horses that develop laminitis, make uneventful recoveries and go on to lead long, useful lives. Unfortunately, others suffer such severe, irreparable damage that they have to be euthanized for humane reasons.
Once a horse has had laminitis, it may be likely to recur. In fact, a number of cases become chronic because the coffin bone has rotated within the foot and because the laminae never regain their original strength.
Also, interference with normal blood flow to the feet, as well as metabolic changes within the horse may continue to put the horse at risk. Extra care is recommended for any horse that has had laminitis, including:
- A modified diet that provides adequate nutrition based on high-quality forage and without excess energy, especially from grain
- Routine hoof care, including regular trimming and, in some cases therapeutic shoeing
- X-rays to monitor progress if recommended by a veterinarian
- A good health-maintenance schedule, including parasite control and vaccinations to reduce the horse's susceptibility to illness or disease
- A nutritional supplement formulated to promote hoof health if recommended by a veterinarian.
The best way to deal with laminitis is preventing the causes under your control.
Keep all grain stored securely out of the reach of horses. Introduce your horse to lush pasture gradually.
Be aware that when a horse is ill, under stress or overweight, it is especially at risk.
Consult your equine practitioner to formulate a good dietary plan.
Provide good, routine health and hoof care.
If you suspect laminitis, consider it a medical emergency: Notify your veterinarian immediately.