Current research and theories on the pathogenesis of acute laminitis in the horse

The Veterinary Journal
S R BaileyJ Elliott


A large number of studies have been undertaken in recent years aimed at furthering our understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying the common and debilitating condition of acute laminitis in the horse. Many of these studies have either reinforced or cast doubt on previously held theories on the pathogenesis of this disease, while others have suggested new mechanisms which may play a key role in its development. This review seeks to put the current hypotheses into the context of this recent body of evidence. While a unifying theory may not yet seem to be achievable, this review demonstrates that most of the current theories are not mutually exclusive. Studies utilising in vitro and in vivo models of the disease, particularly addressing the areas of inflammation, haemodynamic disturbances and enzyme activation in the hoof, as well as the preceding events occurring in the hindgut, have helped to explain many clinical observations of the disease and may possibly lead to more effective therapies and means of prevention in the future.


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Acute Disease
Animal Feed (Substance)
Foot Diseases
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