Laminitis Treatment

The wooden rocking horseshoe is helping many horses survive laminitis.

The wooden rocking horseshoe is helping many horses survive laminitis.

Laminitis is a medical emergency that, unfortunately, many horses are subjected to.

What is laminitis, exactly?

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, laminitis results from the disruption (constant, intermittent or short-term) of blood flow to the sensitive and insensitive laminae. These laminae structures within the foot secure the coffin bone (the wedge-shaped bone within the foot) to the hoof wall. Inflammation often permanently weakens the laminae and interferes with the wall/bone bond. In severe cases, the bone and the hoof wall can separate. In these situations, the coffin bone may rotate within the foot, be displaced downward, “sink” and eventually penetrate the sole. Laminitis can affect one or all feet, but it is most often seen in the front feet concurrently.

The terms “laminitis” and “founder” are used interchangeably. However, founder usually refers to a chronic (long-term) condition associated with rotation of the coffin bone. Acute laminitis refers to symptoms associated with a sudden initial attack, including pain and inflammation of the laminae.

Luckily, there are a few options to help ease the suffering for horses with laminitis. Learn about one, the wooden rocking horseshoe, in AQHA’s FREE report, Laminitis Treatment.

In Laminitis Treatment, Dr. Micheal Steward, a veterinarian in Shawnee, Oklahoma, explains how he finds success with placing wooden shoes on laminitic horses. The shoes, he says, help support the hoof and help it heal.

You’ll also get a detailed explanation, including diagrams, of exactly how laminitis affects a horse’s foot and leg.

Download the Laminitis Treatment Report for FREE!

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In Laminitis Treatment, you’ll hear a first-hand story about how Dr. Steward’s technique took a critically ill horse and gave him renewed life:

When ‘Tooter’ Kiser took his good ranch horse, Pepperoani Wolf, to Dr. Steward, the little red roan gelding could barely walk off the trailer. But by the time Dr. Steward and a farrier finished with him, “I led that horse out of that X-ray room and he hit that concrete and gravel, and he just gave a little. It was like he was already 95-percent better,” Tooter says.

Get the full details on how Pepperoani went from almost being euthanized to returning to the ranch as a full-time helper.

Plus, get other tips for keeping horses with laminitis comfortable and happy.

Download your free copy of Laminitis Treatment today, and share it with your friends!

9 thoughts on “Laminitis Treatment”

  1. Bute & Kidney failure: While we were vacationing in Oregon In 2006 with our two horses, early one morning our 14 year old Quarterhorse gelding was able to escape through an unlocked paddock gate, he ate most of a newly purchased 50 lb bag od grain. That night he was very sore, the barn manager made the decision not to call me until the next morning. By that time he could hardly put weight on the front hooves. The Vet took X-Rays & sure enough he had severe laminitis. It took several months to heal & mega amounts of Bute.

    This January, 2011 @ 19 years old my gelding died of Kidney failure, the Vet attributed it to the large amounts of Bute administered for his laminitis. He went down hill very fast and in a very short amount of time. During the Christmas holidays he lost close to 200 pounds & was so miserable we had no choice but to put him down.

    As a result of my otherwise healthy gelding wasting away to nothing very rapidly I am not a believer in a long term use of Bute.

  2. Our thoroughbred broodmare is very lame in her front right hoof. She is a beautiful mare and I would like to get her back to being ridden, but first i have to try to get her laminitis to go away or at least receed. She had a suspensory injury when she was training to race, but it was in her hind legs. Is there anything we can do to help our mare or is she to forever be a “pasture ornament” and broodmare? She is barefoot and we cant afford a major treatment, please is there a cheaper solution that works we can try?

  3. My husband & I rescued a gelding from some folks who had no idea what they were doing, but tried their best to help this abandoned horse. He was very underweight, had skate boards for hooves with ‘white line disease’ & was in a real mess. We are fortunate to have an orthopedic farrier in our ‘neck of the woods’ who has already turned him around. He may never be without corrective shoes but his pain level has decreased significantly & he moves with less symptoms of laminitis. He is a happy camper & has taken up with our only mare, also a rescue. Find an orthopedic farrier who is well schooled & skilled in these areas. Most will travel distances to service your horse. Also, we had thermo-imaging & xrays done on his feet & body which provided our vet vital information about him. Hope this is helpful.

  4. Why oh why do people feel it is “okay” to breed a lame mare, reference the email regarding the TB mare above. Women who have been pregnant have experienced the shift in body balance and strength needed to carry a new life. Can we please get a grip on this philosophy. I will never understand why owners/breeders and Vets tell each other this is an okay thing to do. I had trouble negotiating with no injuries, and certainly wouldn’t want to attempt it if I was injured in any way. There is a serious overpopulation of horses anyway. If you need a new horse, get a ottb and give them a second chance.

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    I’m not sure where you’re writing from, but if you google “wooden horseshoes for laminitis,” you may be able to find some help in your area. Dr. Steward (the vet from Oklahoma) has given lots of seminars in an effort to spread the technique as widely as possible. Also, Natural Balance ( has a plastic “clog” that is very similar to the wooden shoe. Their website has a farrier search function. Very best of luck to you.

  6. Have a 15-16 year old walker cross that has been diagnosed with cushings disease and laminitis. On meds for cushings, farrier placed reverse shoes, cut toes short (made ME flinch) but with good results. Weaning off bute. My best advice is to have your vet and farrier work collectively (mine have) including having farrier view radidrgraphs of hooves in order to determine the rotation of the coffin bone. Very interested in the ‘wooden rocker shoe’, farrier has not done one yet, looking for a ‘test horse’. But he’s been around for 30 year, may give it a try.

  7. My veterinarians have worked with Dr. Steward for quite a few years now. I have a mare who fractured her rear coffin bone through the P-3. My vets put wooden shoes on her for 8 months. I believe she was the first to wear them for this type of injury and today, five years later, she is still sound! In fact after 1 year there was no sign in radiographs that there was even a fracture. Wooden shoes are a mirale! I am in Northern California.

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