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Complications of Laminitis
Separation of the hoof wall
The destruction of the sensitive laminae results in the hoof wall becoming separated from the rest of the hoof. Pus may leak out at the white line or at the coronary band.
Rotation of the third phalanx
The third phalanx, also known as the coffin bone, rotates downward. Normally, the front of the third phalanx should be parallel to the hoof wall and its lower surface should be roughly parallel to the ground surface but, in laminitis, a combination of forces (e.g. the tension of the deep digital flexor tendon and the weight of the horse) allows the coffin bone to rotate. The degree of rotation may be determined by severity of the initial attack or by how soon laminitis is detected and how soon actions are taken to treat the horse.
Penetration of the third phalanx through the sole
If rotation of the third phalanx continues, its tip can eventually penetrate the sole of the foot. Penetration of the sole is not fatal; many horses have been returned to service by aggressive treatment by a veterinarian and farrier, but the treatment is time-consuming, difficult and expensive.