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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Laminitis Stalks Champion: All Hands on Deck as Coolmore Reports St Nicholas Abbey Diagnosed with Mild Signs of Dreaded Hoof Disease in Ireland

Coolmore Stud has posted the following news on their website:

"St Nicholas Abbey has suffered a setback over the last 24 hours, having developed mild laminitic changes in the left fore. This is disappointing, as he is now weightbearing and walking well on the operated (fractured) leg which has healed amazingly well to date.

"Although laminitis could be a life threatening complication, we are hoping the condition will stabilize.

"Consultations are on-going between veterinary surgeons Dr Tom O’Brien and Dr Ger Kelly of Fethard Equine Hospital and the USA-based Dr Dean Richardson (head of surgery at New Bolton Center [in] Pennsylvania) and Dr Scott Morrison (head of podiatry at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky) regarding the best possible treatment plan for St Nicholas Abbey.

"Obviously the next weeks are critical in his recovery but St Nicholas Abbey remains comfortable with a good appetite & incredible attitude."

(end of message from Coolmore)

No photos accompanied the announcement.

Comment: The type of laminitis described would most likely be the "supporting limb laminitis" variation of the disease. This is the type that affected champion racehorse Barbaro during his fracture recovery under Dr. Richardson's care. 

Early acute laminitis does not always progress to the chronic stage where damage to the laminar bond occurs, and not all laminitis causes massive damage. The descriptive adjective used by Coolmore is "mild".

 Let's hope that is the case with St Nicholas Abbey.

Laminitis specialists from five continents will meet November 1-3 at the International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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