Laminitis drug shows promise in clinical trial

Laminil is injected into the fetlock of a horse.
Laminil is injected into the fetlock of a horse.

A drug undergoing a clinical trial in horses has proved successful in stopping laminitis in 80 per cent of horses treated so far, it has been reported.

Laminil is an injectable drug treatment for acute and active chronic laminitis that inhibits the inflammatory response and the laminitis cascade. It has to date proven effective in treating both acute laminitis and active chronic laminitis.

The active ingredient of Laminil is already approved for use in humans by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and has been approved for investigational drug testing in horses.

It is being tested in top veterinary facilities such as the Dubai Equine Hospital and the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Kentucky.

It has been administered to more than 60 horses and 120 hooves with no adverse effects, proving  successful in stopping laminitis in 80 per cent of horses treated so far.

It has shown effectiveness with all types of laminitis such as insulin resistance, equine metabolic syndrome, grain overload, grass founder, trauma, and weight-bearing laminitis.

Laminitis is inflammation of the hoof. There are many triggers, but the end result is the same: inflammation. This leads to destruction of the delicate laminae that connect the hoof wall to the coffin bone inside the hoof. The disease has ended the life of such great racehorses as Secretariat and Barbaro.

About 3 to 4 percent of the estimated nine million horses in the US will develop a case of laminitis annually. Worldwide, there are hundreds of thousands of  cases of laminitis per year.

Laminitis is considered the No. 2 killer of horses, behind colic, and cases can be notoriously difficult to treat.

Laminil is a mast cell stabilizer that inhibits inflammatory mediators and other chemicals from being released from the mast cell in excess. When the inflammatory mediators are not released in excess, then the laminitis cascade is broken/halted, and the horse is able to heal and recover.

The drug is injected into the digital vein below the fetlock, using a temporary tourniquet above the injection site.

Those behind the clinical trial of the drug, Willowcroft Pharm, say more laminitis cases are needed for the study.

Veterinarians treating laminitic horses are encouraged to read through the inclusion form on the “For Veterinarians” page at to see if the horse qualifies for the trial. If it does, the vet should follow the instructions on the form or contact Willowcroft Pharm for more information.

Willowcroft Pharm says participation in the clinical trial not only will help the horse, but it will get the drug approved so it can be available for all horses.

For more information, contact Willowcroft Pharm, (303) 875-7402 or

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One thought on “Laminitis drug shows promise in clinical trial

  • May 3, 2013 at 2:36 am

    If only this had been around prior to the euthanization of the great Secretariat. I know he wouldn’t still be with us today but we could have enjoyed him for a lot more years than those cut short by laminitis.


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