The Types of Laminitis - With Video from Dr. James Orsini

August 23, 2018

The Types of Laminitis - With Video from Dr. James Orsini

The Four Main Categories of Laminitis in the Horse




Laminitis isn’t the same for all horses, and a lot of that has to do with the reason that laminitis has occurred. What we do know is that there are lots of reasons for laminitis to affect a horse, and those reasons can be boiled down to four categories.


  • An inflammatory disease process. Systemic illnesses create a sudden laminitis as the horse’s body goes into a state of systemic inflammation. This can happen after a colic, a case of pneumonia, a retained placenta, and the like.


  • Metabolic disorders. The horse with PPID (Cushing’s Disease), Insulin Resistance, and other metabolic conditions is at a higher risk of laminitis than other horses. Age is not a factor here, but commonly diet and exercise are. 


  • A severe lameness, infection, or fracture in one limb can cause supporting limb laminitis. A horse will favor the injured leg, transferring weight and stress to the healthy limb which ultimately leads to laminitis in the healthy leg.  

  • Repetitive trauma, such as road founder, is also a cause of laminitis. In cases like this, a single incident can be the culprit, or it can develop over time from the repetition of work. Hard surfaces are often involved.



Ice Horse is fortunate to be able to have Dr. James Orsini from the New Bolton Center, a leading laminitis expert, on our panel of distinguished professional experts. The video below offers his explanation of the types of laminitis in horses. Enjoy! 


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