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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some might remember, my horse has been struggling with laminitis since last spring. He just had another episode, not as severe as it was before, but still concerning, as we have no clue what caused it. He's a good weight, gets fed only grass hay, has his feet looked after every six weeks by our farrier etc.
I had a different vet out yesterday, since our regular vet wasn't available. The guy that came out is the owner of the clinic and held in high regard by a few others I know. I haven't dealt enough with him yet to have my own opinion.
As it is with laminitis - ask two people and get three opinions. Besides the antiinflammatory treatment for the acute phase, this guy recommended papaverine. He mentioned it wasn't scientifically proven, but is believed to facilitate glucose uptake by the cells, which is especially beneficial in (borderline) metabolic horses.
When I asked about side effects, he said there are none.
When I looked it up, papaverine is an opium alkaloid (not an opioid) mostly used for vasodilation, as an antispasmodium, and for erectile disfunction (hahaha, would explain why the pharmacist was looking at me funny when I picked it up "for my horse" :D )

Does anyone have experience with it? Used it (successfully)? I'd be happy for any info that is out there...
 

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I understand the theory.. when a horse founders one of the issues is the way the blood vessel valves operate in the foot. These valves open and close to keep the foot warm and to also feed the lamini and take away wast products from those cells. In laminitis some valves stay closed and others stay open and the lamini are compromised.

Knowing this, I can see why this might be given a go. Try it and see. Is it a bank breaker?
 

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my personal opinion.....I wouldn't mess with it. if he had repeated bouts of laminitis, something is not right, the diet, the trim, or both. Grass hay can be as high as 18%NSC, depending on when it's cut and where it's from. I found Home EXTREMELY informative and helpful, my gelding is IR and, after doing the changes, is now trotting and cantering on hard packed dirt again.
 

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Agree with desert. I'd be looking closely at his diet, nutrition & trimming first & foremost. Also consider general gut health/damage/toxicity & stress, be that physical or mental. Concussion, lack of support or protection under the hooves are other relevant factors. You don't want to dilate blood vessels & increase blood flow if its not a prob n what's in the blood is.
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I don't see a reason not to try the papaverine to help minimize the damage from this episode. Other things I've heard to help with the healing-laminil and vivR8, although both are expensive and fairly new. Laminil can only help in the acute phase. I believe VivR8 is supposed to help with the inflammation at any point. It's a stem cell mediator if I remember correctly. None of these address the cause, though, which I think is your bigger problem. EDIT: looks like he thinks the papaverine will help the IR symptoms. I think you really want to figure out what in his diet/treatment plan isn't working for him, too, so proceed carefully, IMO.

There must still be a metabolic or diet issue. Has he been tested to see if he is IR, has a thyroid disorder, or Cushings? Is his whole diet very low NSC? Have you tested your hay? You can get a hay test kit from Dairy One and have your hay tested for around $20, so that's a cheap check. Another cheap help is to feed extra magnesium.

You also don't say how severe the original laminitis was. I know my mare's rotation was sever enough and the sole thin enough that she appeared to be having repeat bouts of laminitis on a strict diet, when in fact, the hoof was inflamed just from the pressure of the coffin bone on the sole. At least this is what several different vets told me, and since changing her treatment last summer, she has had no repeat episodes. The past four years she has had at least one spring and one fall relapse. This is her longest stretch without a problem.

I hope your guy recovers soon and you get whatever else is bothering him figured out. The chronic laminitics are sensitive critters.
 

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I don't think there is any such thing as a medication without side effects and if this drug hasn't been officially clinically tested on horses I would be really nervous of trying it myself
I understand the theory behind it - just makes me nervous
Better to address the causes first - the recovery will then follow
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think there is any such thing as a medication without side effects
I absolutely agree with that.
On the other hand, I feel like Elana and am thinking it makes sense in theory, why not give it a try... that's why I was hoping someone here might have on-hand experience.
Really, besides Bute and Previcox for the acute stage, not much has been "scientifically proven" when it comes to laminitis. Not the extra Magnesium, not the various different methods of trimming/shoeing, and least of all the herbal and homeopathic remedies. A lot of it is a crapshoot :(

As for management, I'm afraid that's pretty much all I can do at the moment. I board, so I am somewhat dependent on their hay, but the girls at the barn are taking really good care and are very attentive. I actually specifically moved him there cause I felt he really gets the best care available. This is his first episode since last April.

And even if I wanted to switch hay and supply my own, I doubt I'd be able to find any better one at this time of year...
The hay is pure grass, no alfalfa, and he gets it soaked. After a few ups and downs he is very nice right now weight-wise, vet thought so too. He also gets extra Mg.

He has been badly botched up by a farrier last year, so now that he is with a farrier that I like and that I think does a good job, I'm reluctant to change farriers again. He also trotted sound just before this episode. I'll take pictures next time I'm out for a before/after.

Diagnostically, we've ruled out Cushing's and thyroid issues. Both vets feel we are looking at IR/EMS. We never had it lab diagnosed, since it makes little difference to the management plan whether we have it "official" on paper or not.

The episode could have been set off by so many things, we just don't know. It's definitely not grass, as we still have a solid snow cover, but the same day we had a massive weather change and it warmed up about 25 degrees. Who knows, that could have contributed...
I also do board at a quite busy barn. Most of the other boarders know about his condition, and it is also posted on his paddock that he is NOT to be fed by anyone. Bu can I rule out 100% that someone slipped him a carrot? No.
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not much has been "scientifically proven" when it comes to laminitis. Not the extra Magnesium, not the various different methods of trimming
Absence of 'proof' is not the same as proof of absence, and there is indeed a heap of anecdotal evidence, if not strict scientific studies, in the last points. See barehoofcare.com for eg. But it is often no one single thing & it sounds like you've covered many bases well already:? & probably already understand all that. Hope you get it sorted soon then, be it with this drug or not. Be sure to keep us posted.:wink:
 

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For being in a boarding situation, you're quite well off, good!
I still strongly recommend the Ecir site, to possibly fine tune the diet and trim. As for scientifically proven, not all " methods" work for all horses, but the folks there have way over 10 years field experience, the accompanying yahoo group has 11000 members, so I'd say they know what they're talking about:)
Their recommended emergency diet is quite simple, soaked grass hay, the missing minerals, amino acids, extra Vit E, extra loose salt in the feed, magnesium and flax. I can't get my hay tested, so I use California Trace minerals, which is without added iron( very important, iron overload seems to go along with IR/laminitis), and covers pretty much everything, including lysine and methionine. It works, and my non IR horses are on the same diet and thrive.
Weather changes CAN trigger laminitis, my boy had his first episode after a 50 degree temperature drop, 105 one day, 55 and storm the next.
 

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This is a list of the possible side effects in humans - not something I would want to risk in a horse I don't think - and they might get side effects that are more risky.
Papaverine (Papaverine) Patient Information: Side Effects and Drug Images at RxList

I think I'd rather wait for someone to do real clinical trials first
I've found that the combination of Magnesium and Chromium works the best - such as in Quiessence and Remission
 

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Aw, I'm sorry, it sounds like you're doing everything right. I was about at this point last spring with mine--low NSC diet and supplements as most sites recommend, barefoot trimming, etc, and still, she'd have recurrent episodes. It was so frustrating. I found out that her subsequent founder on the diet was basically mechanical, not metabolic, and, fingers crossed, has not recurred since getting increased sole depth. I am hoping that a few cycles with a decent farrier and some time and you'll have a horse that can tolerate a temperature swing or an accidental carrot. Good thoughts to you and your horse.
 
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I found out that her subsequent founder on the diet was basically mechanical, not metabolic,...
& Regulata, if you would like any hoof critiques, you know you can post pics here, there are a few of us quite experienced at rehabbing 'founder'.:wink:
 
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