Oertzenweg 19 b
Tel.+49 30 838 62299 Fax.+49 30 838 62529
The radiographic appearance of the feet of 202 horses affected with chronic laminitis was established. Several different qualitative and quantitative radiographic findings were studied with regard to the prognosis. Race, gender, age, and the affected limb of the horses were also assessed.The results were evaluated for all cases. Cases were then classified into four categories on the basis of retum to athletic function. Group 1 consisted of horses that became sound again, Group 2 included horses remaining slightly or intermittently lame, Group 3 included horses with persistent lameness, and Group 4 was compromised of horses that were euthanized because of laminitis.The radiographic changes which correlated negativly with the retum to athletic funktion were mainly atrophy of the margo solearis, osteolysis of the pedal bone, radiolucent lines between third phalanx and hoof wall, depression of the coronary band and deformation of the hoof due to chronic laminitis.It was shown that horses with chronic laminitis suffer from rotation as well as sinking of the distal phalanx.Horses with less than 6,68 degrees of rotation of the pedal bone were able to retum to athletic funktionThe limit for possible recovery from laminitis was 3,83 millimeters when the extent of pedal bone rotation was evaluated by subtracting the proximal distance between hoofwall and pedal bone form the distal distance between those two structures.The thickness of the soft tissue located dorsal to the distal phalanx in proportion to the length of the distal phalanx was measured at three points as described by LINFORD (1987, 1990).The proximal limit of the ratio at which the return to function for the horse was still possible was 34,95%, the distal limit was 40,23%, and in the middle of the dorsal cortex the limit was 36,78%.For the founder distance, introduced by EUSTACE (1996), the limit was 8,18 millimeters, but the four groups were not clearly distinguishable with this method.No definitive prognosis was possible for horses beyond these limits.Measurements should be done to support the diagnosis. Exact prognosis for cases of chronic laminitis remains difficult.