Laminitis poses a threat to all horses, and is widely considered as being one of the most important diseases of horses and a global equine welfare problem. The effects of laminitis lead to debilitation, development of pronounced digital pain, and great suffering in the afflicted animal. The precise pathophysiological processes that result in laminitic pain are poorly defined, and hence the delivery of effective palliative care is clinically challenging. Knowledge and understanding of pain states in other animal species may further aid the elucidation of equine laminitic pain mechanisms, guide the search for treatable causes of this multifactorial problem, and thereby help achieve enhanced therapeutic and palliative care. However, parallels drawn from pain states in other animals must consider species differences in both anatomy and physiology, and the specific nature of the laminitic disease process.