Laminitis to be Discussed at Nation's Largest Veterinary Internal Medicine Conference

Months after the equine community lost the Kentucky Derby Champion Barbaro to laminitis, veterinarians will gather in Seattle, Wash., at the 2007 ACVIM Forum on June 6-9 to discuss new ways to prevent and manage the disease that eventually led to his euthanasia.

Laminitis, commonly called founder, is a painful inflammation of the foot occurring when the laminae, or sensitive tissues beneath a horse's hoof wall, separate from the bone. It's estimated up to 75% of those afflicted ultimately develop severe or chronic lameness and debilitate. The disease is second only to colic as the biggest cause of death in horses.

Barbaro was euthanatized on Jan. 29 due to the effects of laminitis. After winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby, the colt broke his right rear leg two weeks later in the 2006 Preakness Stakes, ending his racing career. After surgeons repaired Barbaro's fracture and applied a cast, his supporting limbs developed laminitis. Following months of treatment, Barbaro's veterinarians and owners determined he could not be saved.

"All horses and ponies are at risk for laminitis, not just racehorses," said Dr. Ray Geor, Director of Research at the MARE Center at Virginia, and speaker at the 2007 ACVIM Forum. Dr. Geor's session, Pasture-Associated Laminitis, will discuss the risk factors associated with laminitis, focusing on the combination of an overweight horse and exposure to pasture. Three other sessions will disseminate important information on this serious disease to the equine veterinary community including its pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management.

The 2007 ACVIM Forum is four days of continuing education for an estimated 3,500 general and specialty veterinary practitioners, technicians, and veterinary students from over 40 countries focusing on new, unpublished data, including a wide range of topics from internal medicine, oncology, neurology, and cardiology.

More than 70 sessions specifically dedicated to large animal healthcare will be presented, including:

  • ACVIM Consensus Statement Regarding Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) Infections
  • Diagnosis & Management of Equine Metabolic Syndrome
  • Equine Forum Short Course on Corneal Ulcers & Diseases

The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is the national certifying organization for veterinary specialists in large and small animal internal medicine, cardiology, neurology, and oncology. The ACVIM hosts an annual continuing education meeting (ACVIM Forum) each year where cutting-edge information, technology, and research are
showcased for the veterinary community. For more information, including an online program and virtual pressroom, please visit

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