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Acu in Practice: Equine Laminitis Case Part 2 by Dr. Katja Gorts

Welcome to Acu in Practice! This is part two of Malibu`s story shared by Dr. Katja Görts. If you have not read part one yet, please check out last week´s post….

After the onset of Malibu´s laminitis episode, Dr. Katja Görts treated him regularly about once a month. The acute hindquarter pain was gone after the first treatment. His walking improved gradually, though it was hard to find a good solution to protect his hooves as he would not tolerate any shoes. Finally, boots with woolen pads that were customized according to the most sensitive area of the sole worked for him. His hooves were professionally trimmed every four weeks.

Unfortunately, the progress was slow so Malibu could only walk a few minutes every day and therefore did not lose as much of his bodyweight as he should. Additional symptoms were edema of the scrotum and occasional soft stool.

His pulses were usually deep, weak and slippery with a very slight wiry component; his tongue was big, pale and wet with lavender sides. His lumbar area always felt cool. His Spleen (BL 20)- and Kidney (BL 23))- Back Shu Points always felt deficient as well as his Spleen-Mu-Alarm-Point (LIV 13).

His main TCVM diagnosis: Phlegm due to Spleen-Qi-Deficiency.

Additional TCVM patterns: Kidney-Yang-Deficiency and Liver-Qi-Stagnation.

Acupuncture points during this time included points to transform Phlegm, expel Dampness, support the Spleen and Kidney, and move (LIV-)Qi:

SP 21 – Major Luo connecting point of the Spleen Channel: moves Qi, regulates Blood, benefits the joints and sinews (remember: hooves are extended sinews!)

LIV 13 – Front Mu Alarm point of the Spleen

Four Gates LIV 3/LI 4 – move Qi and Blood

ST 40 – Luo connecting point, Influential Point for Phlegm, transforms Phlegm

BL 20 – Back Shu Point of the Spleen

BL 23 – Back Shu Point of the Kidney

KID 7 – Jing River Point, strengthens the Kidneys, resolves Dampness, treats edema, strengthens the lower back

In addition to the herbal formula that is similar to Jing Tang´s Hot Hoof I, Malibu was prescribed additional single herbs to support his kidney function, a sea algae mixture to stimulate his thyroid in order to help with the weight loss, and a single herb to help stabilize his insulin levels.

The picture of the hoof boots was taken at 2.5 months after onset of laminitis, the close up of the hoof 3.5 months after onset.

To be continued…Please check in next week for the 3rd and final post in this series!

This post is created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and features content written by Katja Görts, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH. The content is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.


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