Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dr. Walsh Speaks at International Hoof-Care Summit

Dr. Don Walsh spoke to attendees of the Eighth Annual International Hoof-Care Summit held Feb. 1-4, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The meeting theme, “Coming together for better hoof care”, brought the latest, most innovative and forward-thinking information and ideas regarding the equine foot from hoof-care specialists from around the world.

Dr. Don Walsh speaking at the International Hoof-Care Summit
 in Cincinnati, Ohio Feb. 1-4 2011
Dr. Walsh’s presentation, “Laminitis: Your Critical Role in Early Detection of the Disease Process”, described the early changes in the growth pattern in the hoof that may first be seen by the hoof care professional when trimming or shoeing a horse. These changes are seen when abnormally high levels of insulin are present in the blood, which could lead to laminitis, but before any sign of lameness occurs.

When these early changes appear, Dr. Walsh suggests that owners be notified and encouraged to establish communication with their veterinarian to test the fasting blood level of insulin.  Proper care including a low glycemic diet, increasing exercise, and medications if necessary can bring the insulin level back down into the normal range.  With proper trimming and hoof care laminitis can be prevented and a normal hoof re-grown.

As Dr. Walsh says, “Prevention is always preferable to treatment”, when it comes to laminitis.  This form of the disease causes slow changes in the foot, which can be reversed if detected early by farriers, hoof-care givers and veterinarians.