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First Injectable Treatment for Laminitis Successful in Stopping the Disease in 80% of Horses in Clinical Trials, More Cases Needed

By: Brittany Bevis

Images provided by Willowcroft Pharmacy LLC.

Laminitis. Second only to colic as the number one killer of horses, this one word diagnosis strikes fear into the hearts of horse lovers of all breeds. In addition to the unpredictable nature of the disease, laminitis often progresses quickly making rapid diagnosis and treatment essential to the horse’s survival and future quality of life.

Finally, after decades of research, science is getting closer to putting a stop to this killer with the first injectable drug treatment for acute and active chronic laminitis, Laminil. We had the chance to speak with Charles Owen, the Operating Manager of Willowcroft Pharmacy LLC, to find out more about this revolutionary treatment.

“It has been in clinical testing under FDA supervision for six years,” Owen says. “The product has been in the works for ten years, and the theory behind Laminil took 17 years to develop. It is a mast cell stabilizer that inhibits inflammatory responses from being released from the mast cells. The inflammatory response is the activator of laminitis.”

“It is the first drug to halt the inflammatory response and the laminitis cascade. Understanding the proper sequence of the laminitis cascade is vital to understanding how to treat laminitis. That is why the theory took 17 years to develop.”

By its simplest definition, laminitis is inflammation of the hoof. Although there are many causes of laminitis, the end result is often the same, the destruction of the sensitive laminae that secure the coffin bone to the hoof wall. Because Laminil is a mast cell stabilizer, it inhibits the inflammatory response from being released in excess amounts. This helps to break or stop the laminitis cascade so the affected horse is able to recover.

During the course of clinical trials, “Laminil has been successful in stopping laminitis in 80 percent of horses treated so far. The drug has been administered to more than 60 horses and 120 hooves with no adverse effects. It has shown efficacy with all types of laminitis such as insulin resistance, equine metabolic syndrome, grain overload, grass founder, trauma and weight-bearing laminitis.” (Laminil.us).

Interestingly enough, the active ingredient in Laminil is already FDA approved for use in humans. For the past six years, Laminil has been undergoing clinical testing under FDA supervision. Currently, the drug is being tested in top veterinary facilities such as Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky and Dubai Equine Hospital overseas.

Because clinical testing is still underway, more laminitis cases are needed for treatment. To see if your horse might qualify for participation in a clinical trial, you can visit http://www.laminil.us. Veterinarians interested in treating laminitic horses with the drug should view the “For Veterinarians” tab on the website to download inclusion forms and pharmacological details.

“Laminil is administered via retrograde venous therapy, or distal limb perfusion,” Owen says. “Laminil is injected into the digital vein at the fetlock joint, and a tourniquet is placed above it causing Laminil to back flow into the artery, which carries Laminil to the laminae of the foot, or target source of laminitis.”

“It is the first drug to halt the inflammatory response and the laminitis cascade. No other treatment has that capability.”

For more information about Laminil, please contact Willowcroft Pharmacy LLC at (303) 875-7402 or e-mail Charles Owen at charlie@solucian.com.

mel d
Am sending this info to the local equine vets.
Wendy W - WI
Thank you for posting this.  I've emailed and called my vet. 
I am really excited about this.  This could be a huge breakthrough and could save a lot of lives. 
Scott: MHWF
This could be a pretty huge deal....80% success rate for easily the most difficult horse health problem out there. Let's hope they get this moving and it becomes available soon.
I am really excited about this!  I really hope they can get enough clinical trials and get this out there.  So many lives can be saved. 

This is exciting!  I am dealing with two Insulin Resistent horses and two Equine Metabolic ponies.
All of them have had laminitis off and on and it's hard to tell with the IR boys what is really going on.

I think about how many wonderful older horses have been put down because of chronic laminitis that this might help. 

I'll be contacting my vets this week with this to see what they know and if we can get in on the trials.  I did the trials for Percoloid tablets on one of my horses and enjoyed helping them out.

Crossing my fingers that this works.
But we can't ignore that as horse owners we can control most 'founder' causes before it happens......those of us with pasture are in the most dangerous time of the year for our horses to grass founder. BTW the terms laminitis and founder are different stages of the same process. Laminitis is the early stage of the inflammation in the foot and there are many levels of it, mild to severe....founder is the end result where damage is done, wall separation and rotation of the coffin bone, again mild to severe stages.
The next big question is (after finding out if it works) how much is this going to cost. Sadly many of the wonder drugs/treatments are beyond the pocketbook of many horse owners. Actually owning any animal these days is very expensive....but that's a whole new topic.
Interesting and exciting news. Hope this becomes available and works like they claim.
They are still working on FDA approval.  

Here is a link to a case study that is happening right now:  

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