Summary Case records of 202 horses treated for laminitis were reviewed with the intent of determining the long‐term outcome and correlating this with digital radiographic findings and with the degree of pain associated with the laminitis. At long‐term follow‐up 57 horses had returned to athletic soundness (Group 1), 20 horses were intermittently lame (Group 2), 19 horses had permanent severe lameness (Group 3), 97 were dead (Group 4), and 9 were lost to follow up. Using simple regression analysis, functional outcome did not correlate with the degree of rotation (R2= 0.004) or the presence of distal displacement (R2= 0.139). Functional outcome did correlate with the clinical grade of laminitis (R2= 0.504). Horses in Group 1 had significantly less distal phalangeal rotation (5.89 ± 6.48 degrees) than did horses in Group 2 (11.10 ± 8.19) and Group 3 (14.50 ± 10.80), but were not significantly different from Group 4 horses (7.49 ± 6.57). Of 96 surviving horses, 23 had evidence of distal displacement compared with 54 of 97 non‐survivors. Based on these results, horses that develop distal displacement of the distal phalanx are more likely to die than are horses without distal displacement; however, the presence or absence of distal phalangeal displacement and the degree of distal phalangeal rotation cannot be used to predict the outcome of a horse with laminitis. Clinical assessment is a more reliable means of determining the final outcome and should be given precedence over radiographic findings.
Equine Veterinary Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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