Thursday, November 03, 2005

HOW TO USE THIS BLOG: Laminitis conference updates and news for attendees and exhibitors

Use the information in this blog to learn a few helpful details about the Third International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot. Check this blog up until November 3rd for updates. You might want to print out the blog and bring it with you in case you are delayed.

The official site for the conference is or call 1-877-307-5225. Be sure to visit that site for official information.

On this informal site, I may occasionally refer to the conference as Palm Beach Laminitis, or PBL. Often, I will be posting to this blog by email, so please have patience. Also, information is guaranteed to be only accurate at the time of posting and some details may change.

Use the links at left to preview lectures, learn more about individual lecturers, and make the most of your educational experience at the conference.

If you haven't officially registered, please do that as soon as you can so that plans can be made to print enough proceedings books, have enough food, and sort out which wet labs are likely to be mobbed.

As with all blogs, the posts (except this intro) are in order beginning with the most recent post first. New posts may appear in any order, and old posts may disappear. Check back for updates.

Information on this blog is posted for the use of attendees at the Third International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot. This blog is an informal information source and may contain unintentional errors or omissions. Please double-check all information. Information is not intended for use beyond the conference group. All contents copyright 2005 Hoofcare Publishing. For more information about the conference, please visit or call 1-877-307-5225
. To contact Fran Jurga or Hoofcare & Lameness Journal, creators of this blog, please visit or call 978 281 3222. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Marriott Hotel Update: November 2, 2005

I just talked to the hotel, and things are pretty much ok there. They said that there are still traffic lights that aren't working at some intersections and the schools are closed.

The hotel itself suffered little damage but there is no cable tv in the rooms. The internet still works, however, if you bring a laptop.

The weather has been cool in the mornings, overcast, and in the low 80s in the afternoons.

The Marriott says that CityPlace, the mall/entertainment complex near the hotel, is open and the Convention Center appears to be fine, too.

SCOTT MORRISON: Podiatry Referral Specialist

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY—Scott Morrison, DVM, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital heads a podiatry clinic that specializes in the treatment of laminitis. Some of the leading treatment options and products that will be used around the world in months to come are being tried and tested at Rood and Riddle this summer.

Dr. Morrison, who is also a farrier, goes to great lengths to help his patients find a comfortable way to stand. He experiments with new hoof boots with foam inserts make it easy for owners to keep horses barefoot and change dressings, soak the feet, apply medications and make alterations from day to day as the horse shows signs of pain or improvement.

Some of Rood and Riddle’s worst cases are referrals, or advanced cases that have not responded to treatment by their attending veterinarians and farriers. Many of these horses are broodmares and stallions crippled by the after-effects of laminitis, particularly abnormal tendons and bone infections inside the foot. Morrison is adept at the procedure called deep digital flexor tenotomy, which severs the main tendon in the back of the foot and allows the hoof capsule and bones to return to a normal angle with the ground. Special aluminum shoes or boots are used to keep the horses comfortable while the tendon heals.

Bone infections in the foot, sometimes related to chronic abscesses and dead tissue, are one of the most serious threats to a horse’s life. Many deformed laminitic feet also have compromised blood flow, and normal medications may not be delivered through the blood system. Morrison enlists some unlikely allies in the cleaning out of infected tissue in the foot; he uses a state-of-the-art—but based on centuries old—technique of inserting tiny sterile fly maggots into the infected area. These specially-bred insect larvae, supplied by the University of California’s medical school, eat only infected tissue and do a superb job of cleaning wounds. When they are full-grown and can eat no more, they are flushed out, and new ones are added as needed.

Next on Morrison’s list of techniques to perfect is grafting tissue in the horse’s foot. He currently is testing the punch biopsy technique to transplant tissue to stimulate growth of the frog, and hopes to perfect the technique and expand applications.

Some of this text may have appeared in the article "Laminitis Battle Stations" in a recent edition of Practical Horseman magazine.