Dr Andrew Van Eps - Laminitis: Mechanisms and consequences of attachment failure between hoof and bone.

Laminitis is still regarded by many horse owners as a disease confined to ponies and miniature horses. It comes as a surprise to some that thoroughbreds and other large horses can succumb to this affliction.

Laminitis –essentially a failure of the attachment between the hoof and the bone – is extremely painful and can at worst, prematurely end a horse or a pony’s life.


Photo: Rebecca Jacaranda Scott

In the US, top Kentucky Derby winner Barbero was euthanized in 2007 after developing laminitis in three feet while being treated for a shattered hind leg.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania

Barbero who succumbed to laminits.

And earlier this year, Australia’s most expensive yearling, Jimmy, the half brother to world champion sprinter Black Caviar, was also euthanized when he developed laminitis, reportedly in the wake of a spider bite. He has earlier sold at the yearling sales for $5 million.

There is little doubt that Laminitis is the most prevalent serious pathology seen by hoof care professionals in this country. In spring when it’s at its worst, it is not uncommon for hoof care professionals to see one or two laminitic horses each day.

But despite the common occurrence, we have a long way to go to get to the bottom of how it happens, how best to prevent it happening and for those unfortunate to have succumbed to the disease….how to rehabilitate them.

So it is fitting that two of the speakers at our forthcoming conference, will be directly discussing their research and offering their best advice on how to prevent and treat an illness which can have tragic outcomes for many of our horses.

Dr Andrew van Eps – who was only last year inducted into the International Veterinarians Hall of Fame in the US -  continues his research into the pathophysiology of laminitis at the University of Queensland. (Dr van Eps, replaces Prof Chris Pollitt on our program, due to unforeseen circumstances.)

Photo: Andrew van Eps

He will canvas the differing outcomes – from death to rehabilitation and successful return to athletic activity and will share the latest academic research evidence for prevention and treatment.

Dr Cindy Nielsen from the Nebraska-based Founder Warriors will also be reporting on her techniques for treating and saving laminitic cases. Her presentation will combine an outline of her holistic approach with veterinary science and years specializing at the coalface of laminitis, in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

For those horse owners interested in laminitis and for professionals dealing with it amongst their client horses, these two speakers will provide an illuminating insight into the latest science and rehabilitiation techniques.


Don’t miss out. Our EarlyBird special ticket prices end at midnight AEST on Monday June 30th. Book yours now.