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What is Laminitis?

Laminitis or "founder" is a disease that has impacted horses through the ages. Fossil evidence suggests ancient horses dealt with laminitis dating back over 1.8 million years ago. It may have been first mentioned by the ancient Greek historian and philosopher Xenophon,  wrote about a disease called “barley surfeit” (surfeit translates to excess) and said: “Diseases are easier to cure at the start than after they have become chronic and have been wrongly diagnosed.”


Laminitis refers to inflammation within the laminae of the horse’s feet. Founder is a term broadly used to describe laminitis, typically denoting a more severe form of laminitis. The laminae are delicate structures which hold the bone within the hoof capsule (coffin bone) to the hoof wall. It would be similar to the structures holding our fingernails to our fingers. Click here to learn more.

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