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  • Author or Editor: Sherry J. Morgan x
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Objective—To describe submural histopathologic changes attributable to peracute laminitis in horses.

Animals—20 adult horses.

Procedure—A concurrent-control design was used to compare laminar lesions in 10 horses subjected to carbohydrate-induced laminitis with laminar characteristics of 10 sex- and aged-matched control horses with normal feet. Horses in the treatment group were administered an overload of carbohydrate. Tissues were obtained by biopsy 4 to 8 hours after onset of lameness or 72 hours after administration of the carbohydrate overload when lameness did not develop. Sections were stained with H&E, Masson's trichrome, and periodic acid-Schiff stains. Histopathologic changes were analyzed to detect differences between groups and to correlate epidermal changes with severity and duration of lameness.

Results—Analysis indicated that dermal and epidermal lesions were evident despite lack of visible separation of the epidermal basement membrane, can be found in horses without detectable lameness, and were nonspecific and progressive following onset of lameness. Furthermore, severity and location of lesions were associated with severity and duration of lameness.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—These observations are consistent with the concept that separation of the laminar epithelial basement membrane is a delayed step in the pathogenesis of acute laminitis, digital vascular hypoperfusion is an underlying cause for laminitis, and the potential for repeated episodes of subclinical laminitis may underlie the development of structural and mechanical changes consistent with chronic laminitis despite lack of clinical signs of acute laminitis. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:829–834)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research