Elevate Heels To Alleviate Laminitic Pain

Very few equine conditions can be as debilitating as laminitis, which can be triggered by a variety of events or occur on its own. Laminitis occurs when the laminae, a set of finger-like structures which support the coffin bone and hold it in place in the hoof capsule, become inflamed. This inflammation is incredibly painful.

The breakover phase of a horse’s stride is the most painful for laminitis horses. This is when all of his weight rests on his toe as he steps forward, putting intense pressure on already-sensitive structures. A study has found that elevating a horse’s heels with a wedge can shorten the breakover period, protecting damaged tissues and helping to alleviate some of the horse’s pain.

The study used eight acutely laminitic horses to compare the breakover of hooves and those with a heel wedge. The horses were walked on a poured concrete surface both barefoot and with the wedge applied. The scientists found that the heel wedge shortened breakover and reduced the load on the horse’s toe. Elevating the heel placed 81 percent of the load on the bottom half of the hoof, near the heel, relieving pain and mitigating lamellar damage.

The researchers recommend using heel wedges for no more than two to three weeks at a time to avoid collapsing the horse’s heels and contracting his hooves.

Read more at EquiManagement.

The post Elevate Heels To Alleviate Laminitic Pain appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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