Author: Kieran O'Brien

Kieran O'Brien

Dr Kieran O’Brien MA MVB PhD MRCVS After a long stint as a lecturer at Bristol Veterinary School, Kieran has been a senior clinician in an equine practice in Devon for the last 20 years. He is an FEI Official Veterinarian and has been a team vet for British and Irish teams. He is a regular contributor to horse magazines and has published the book Essential Horse Health. He breeds and imports Connemara sports ponies.

(Note: The advice here refers to ponies and horses suffering from endocrinopathic laminitis, causes by Obesity, Equine Metabolic Syndrome or Cushing’s disease only) Find the cause – Unless the cause is obvious (e.g. the pony is very obese) your vet may take blood samples from your pony to confirm why the laminitis occurred. These may involve testing for resting insulin, performing an oral sugar test, and testing for Cushing’s Disease (PPID). Depending on the results, your vet may prescribe various medications and give other advice, which you must strictly follow. X-rays – You vet may wish to take x-rays of…

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Laminitis is an emergency and must never be underestimated. How a pony is managed from the first day can have a major impact on the outcome and the time taken to recover. If in doubt it is always best to proceed as though the pony has the disease. Veterinary advice must always be sought, both to provide pain relief and to ensure the correct management of the case. An experienced farrier will also be involved in the long-term management. This section will help you as an owner ensure the best outcome for your pony (Note: this advice relates to endocrinopathic…

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One in four horses are euthanised by vets every year because of intractable laminitis, usually after a prolonged and painful period when attempts are made to save it. So it’s a very serious disease and must never be underestimated. If spotted EARLY and managed CORRECTLY from the start, it may be possible to achieve a successful outcome for each horse. This guide will help you to spot the disease as soon as it appears and give you some tips on first aid. Every laminitis case should be seen by a vet, who will provide pain relief and help devise a…

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