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Objective—To determine the feasibility of performing serial laminar and skin biopsies on sedated horses and whether sampling affected adjacent tissues.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—Laminar tissues were harvested via biopsy through the hoof wall from healthy conscious horses via sedation and regional anesthesia. Eight specimens were collected at 4 time points during 24 hours from a single foot. Laminar biopsy specimens were harvested with a 6-mm-diameter biopsy punch after burring through the horny corium to the stratum medium. Skin biopsy specimens were collected from an area proximal to the coronary band. All tissues were examined via light microscopy. Total RNA was extracted and quantified, and gene expression analysis was completed for 2 housekeeping genes and the inflammatory mediator cyclooxygenase-2.

Results—Laminar and skin biopsies yielded adequate specimens for histologic and gene expression evaluation. There was no extension of inflammation or detectable damage to adjacent tissues during the 24-hour period in either laminar or skin specimens as judged via histologic findings and cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Lameness and discomfort induced by the procedure were minimal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Laminar biopsy provided a satisfactory method of collecting laminar specimens and allowed serial sampling of individual horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research