Laminitis in horses

Laminitis In Horses

Discover how FormaHoof offers a highly effective, supportive treatment process for horses with laminitis

As well as causing the horse extreme pain and difficulty in movement, Laminitis is also notoriously difficult to treat. Cooperation between your veterinarian and the farrier is essential as an acute laminitis attack can lead to founder and long-term structural changes in the foot and techniques such as corrective trimming, frog supports and therapeutic shoes or pads may be recommended. 


However, a huge challenge when undertaking remedial shoeing for a horse with laminitis or founder is the fact that the horse’s damaged hoof structure often cannot take a nailed-on shoe. Custom solutions take considerable time and resources and as time is of the essence when dealing with Laminitis cases, the ability to quickly apply FormaHoof and provide immediate protection and relief can mean the difference between recovery or disaster. 


FormaHoof is uniquely suited to treating Laminitis as it encapsulates the damaged hoof, protecting and supporting the sensitive internal structures. This prevents further deterioration whilst also immediately reducing pain and improving the horse’s ability to move. The resulting comfort also reduces overall stress levels in the horse, leading to a faster recovery as horses can return to a regular routine. 


The FormaHoof application process is designed to be easy and repeatable, meaning that horse owners can expect a consistent result, even if the applicator changes during the treatment.

Key benefits of FormaHoof in treating laminitis:

Discover real-life cases

The essential role of the blacksmith
Farrier & FormaHoof Certified Applicator Bart Lambert was interviewed by Ekico about the essential role of a blacksmith, described the severe laminitis case of Biola, a Spanish mare.
Feeding and Caring for Laminitis
In this blog post, Equine Scientist and FormaHoof Team member Lisa, will explain, what laminitis is, how it occurs and how you can help reduce the risk to your horse through the right feed and nutrition.
Laminitis in broodmares
Using FormaHoof to manage such chronic laminitis cases dramatically improves quality of life for both the horse and everyone in the horse care group!
Horse breeders hoof care guide
Effective hoof care management is crucial for the health of stallions, broodmares and foals. Check out FormaHoof's tips for various hoof related scenarios in the reproduction cycle.

What is laminitis?

Laminitis is one of the most common hoof related problems that owners face and is the second leading cause of death of horses worldwide, second only to colic. 


Laminitis is often also referred to as founder. However, founder is the actual physical change that occurs within the hoof as a result of laminitis and so is the chronic (long-term) condition associated with rotation of the coffin bone. Laminitis refers to symptoms associated with a sudden initial attack, including pain and inflammation of the laminae. Fortunately, FormaHoof can help with both. 

What causes laminitis?

The development of laminitis and ultimately founder can be as a result of a variety of factors, sometimes working on their own and sometimes in combination with each other. However, most cases of laminitis are a clinical sign of disease elsewhere – either severe systemic inflammatory disease or a metabolic condition.

Can laminitis in horses be cured?

Some horses that develop laminitis make uneventful recoveries and go on to lead long, useful lives. Unfortunately, others suffer such severe, irreparable damage that they are, for humane reasons, euthanised.

Whilst it is possible to help many horses overcome acute laminitic episodes, there is no such thing as a proven cure for the disease.
FormaHoof effectively supports horses during their journey, allowing pain to be reduced, whilst providing full support and comfort.

What are the signs of laminitis?

The signs of laminitis can differ between the acute and chronic phases of the disease.

Signs for acute laminitis episodes may include: Lameness, heat in the feet, increased digital pulse, pain in the toe region, reluctant gait, weight shifting/ sawhorse stance.
Signs for chronic laminitis may include: Rings on the hoof wall, bruised soles, blood pockets or abscesses, White Line Disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, unequal rates of hoof growth.
If you think your horse has laminitis or has foundered, please contact your equine practitioner immediately.

How do you treat a laminitic horse?

There are a number of traditional methods to support horses during an episode of laminitis, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and special horseshoes, such as open toe shoes, casting, clogs and other methods.

FormaHoof can support horses during their recovery and through life with the disease, offering a nail-free and comfortable solution that supports healthy hoof growth, increased blood flow and provides instant, drug-free pain relief.
All laminitis treatments should be discussed and followed up with a veterinarian and/or farrier/trimmer.

How do you relieve laminitis pain?

Acute cases may require heavy dosed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as bute or similar. In inflammatory cases, short term icing can be a supportive measure. Supportive shoeing can also help to relieve pain. Whilst traditional methods often include nailed or screwed options, FormaHoof can support horses with a nail-free solution which further increases comfort and pain relief during laminitic episodes.

All laminitis treatments should be discussed and followed up with a veterinarian and/or farrier/trimmer.

How do you prevent laminitis in horses?

Laminitis is a painful disease that affects the horse’s feet and some cases are clearly preventable. Common causes which are in our control include overfeeding or overloading and these are preventable.


Five preventive measures to help prevent laminitis occurring:

  • Avoid dietary extremes which can cause toxic overload and acute systemic inflammation
  • Manage an at-risk horse’s diet extremely carefully
  • Identify and control underlying metabolic disorders, such as PPID and EMS
  • Watch for laminitis when treating other illnesses and hoof problems
  • Maintain good basic hoof care

Can laminitis be caused by shoeing?

There are no studies that prove that incorrect shoeing can cause laminitis. However, a lack of good hoof care and overgrown hooves can cause additional pressure on horses’ feet, which can lead to mechanical disfunction and can result in laminitis.

There are 3 main causes of laminitis in horses: Overload, Inflammatory and Metabolic.

Would you like to get more information how FormaHoof can help your horse recovering from various hoof pathologies?

For general enquires please contact us via our contact form or by email to

Book an in-depth consultation and discuss your horse’s case with a FormaHoof Expert in detail

If your horse is facing laminitis, white line disease, navicular disease or any other hoof related problem, you know that every horse and every case is different.

To provide detailed expert consultation our FormaHoof Expert team is happy to provide in-depth consultations via video chat (zoom), to allow for the sharing of images, videos, x-rays etc. This is a paid expert consultation service, for general enquiries please click the link above.

Book your consultant

FormaHoof supportive treatment for Laminittis n Horses, farrier Bart Lambert

Bart Lambert

State Certified Farrier/Belgium
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: Flämisch, Dutch, English, French

Aletia Reilingh FormaHoof

Aletia Reilingh

Staatlich gepr. Hufschmied
State Certified Farrier/Germany
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Laminitis and White Line Disease with FormaHoof

Languages: English, German

Joel Brown

MSc Hon AG
Accredited Professional Farrier (APF-1)
FormaHoof Certified Applicator

Expert in supportive treatment for Navicular Disease & NPA with FormaHoof

Languages: English

Share your story

Have you used FormaHoof? Please share your story by submitting your case below. We’d love to share your experiences with others on our channels, or with equestrian media around the world, and help put more horses on the road to recovery and pain-free feet. 


Submitted cases will be rewarded with a gift voucher after approval and publication.

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