Research & Articles

Original Research

Laminitis Research Project

 Participants invited

One of the difficulties of working with a therapy which may be unfamiliar to vets is convincing them that it is genuine, safe and does what it claims.  This often requires scientifically researched proof before the therapy begins to be accepted. In Germany, where the use of manual lymph drainage with horses was developed, it is used as an ancillary treatment for acute and sub-acute cases because of its ability to drain oedema and inflammatory components from the hoof, supporting quicker and improved recovery, which is also my own experience.

 However, to date this kind of scientific study into the use of MLD with laminitis has not been done.  The structure of the hoof makes it impossible to observe the role of the lymphatic system within in action, leading to a current absence of information about this in international laminitis research, and accounts of MLD’s success have had to remain anecdotal.  Nevertheless, as knowledge of the lymphatic system grows in human research, I believe it’s important to have a starting point for considering its role and the use of MLD in laminitis.

Therefore the aim of this project is to record the progress of cases where MLD is applied, and to create greater awareness of it’s potential for acute and sub-acute laminitis, and also to see how effective it may be with animals with recurring episodes, often those with EMS or PPID.

There is no charge for treatment through this project, only a small fee for insurance purposes, and payment of travel costs.  Participants need to be within approx 45 minutes drive of Bromsgrove in North Worcestershire.  If you would like to take part in this research, please get in touch with me.

Veterinary practices in the region have been informed about the project, several have expressed interest, as always permission to treat will have to be obtained in each case. I am hoping that this small project will lead in future to a formal study, and I will be taking the results to the 2013 International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot.

-  To see a report about the Conference please go to news and information.


 Combined decongestive therapy including equine manual lymph drainage to assist management of chronic progressive lymphoedema in draft horses. H. Powell,Equine MLD, Worcestershire, UK; V.K. Affolter, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, Davis, USA

Link to  pdf version on this website. 

This article is available in final form in the Equine Veterinary Education Journal:

Clydesdale breed a century ago

Clydesdale breed a century ago

Original Articles

Skin Wisdom, discovering a concealed condition

Horse and Rider Magazine, January 2010

Chronic progressive lymphoedema leads to MLD equine therapy study

Veterinary Times, March 1, 2010

 Manual lymph drainage

Forge, April 2011

 Laminitis research project

Forge, August 2012