Laminitis is the route cause of many herd lameness problems and it’s control can make spectacular savings to the annual lameness treatment costs.
There are three types of laminitis:

1. Acute Laminitis

  • Sudden onset
  • Severe pain
  • All four legs affected
  • Difficulty in standing – or cow will kneel only
  • Not common

2. Sub-acute Laminitis

  • Most common form of laminitis on farm
  • No obvious signs
  • Frequent nutritional and environmental stress
  • Heifers on high cereal/silage diets
  • Cows on hard standing for long periods
  • Hoof weakened through abnormal growth
  • Yellow sole, haemorrhaging and sole ulcers

The following are associated with sub-acute laminitis:

  • Sole ulcer
  • White-Line Disease
  • Toe necrosis
  • Double or false sole

3. Chronic Laminitis

  • If left untreated, sub-acute laminitis will progress to chronic laminitis
  • Breakdown of blood supply to the corium and damage to the internal structure of the foot
  • Irreversible damage, culling

The link between nutrition and laminitis is acidosis which results in poor blood supply to the corium. The severity depends upon frequency and length of each period of rumen acidosis.