Objective—To measure changes in laminar microvascular blood flow (LMBF) over time in healthy horses and horses in the prodromal stage of black walnutinduced laminitis and to determine the effects of glyceryl trinitrate application on LMBF in horses with acute laminitis.
Animals—10 healthy adult horses.
Procedure—Laser Doppler flowmetry was used to measure LMBF. Baseline measurements were obtained, horses were given deionized water via a nasogastric tube, and measurements were obtained hourly for 12 hours. Twenty-four hours later, baseline measurements were again obtained, and horses were given black walnut extract. Measurements were obtained hourly for 12 hours or until development of Obel grade-3 laminitis. At this time, 5 horses were treated with phenylbutazone, and the other 5 were treated with phenylbutazone and glyceryl trinitrate, and measurements were obtained hourly for an additional 12 hours.
Results—LMBF was significantly decreased 1 and 2 hours after administration of the black walnut extract but then returned to near-baseline values for the next 6 hours. Eight hours after extract administration, there was a second significant decrease in LMBF that persisted until the end of the study. Glyceryl trinitrate had no effect on LMBF. Clinical signs of laminitis developed 8 to 12 hours after extract administration.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in horses with black walnut-induced laminitis, there is an early decrease in LMBF followed by reperfusion prior to onset of clinical signs. Treatment with glyceryl trinitrate after development of clinical signs of laminitis did not have a significant effect on LMBF. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:862–868)