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Handsome Horse France 2018. Part of Handsome Horse.
Laminitis is a condition that not many horse owners have not worried about at one time or another.
There are many causes of Laminitis and effectively it would be wrong to point it directly at spring grass.
Vets from countries all over the world have extensively studied thousands of horses and ponies to create comprehensive information that can be found on the internet and books. Here we have taken a selection of the information to bring you a small insight
From different schools of thought.
Treating your Laminitic Horse
One of the first things to do when treating a laminitic horse is to restrict turnout.
Obviously this can cause many issues for those owners who do not have access to stabling. In this case create a small pen using electric tape for restriction. Make up a deep non edible footing to help support the feet
Treatment from your farrier is paramount. Make sure your farrier is fully qualified, they spend many years studying to structures of the hooves. The old adage “no foot, no horse” is a lot more than a wives tale!
Contact your vet for any drugs you may need i.e bute and advice of dosage or a visit should you not be able to contact your farrier.
STOP feeding all grain based feeds and pasture.
DO NOT STARVE YOUR HORSE! It is recommended that a horse will need forage of hay/grass of between 1.2% and 1.5% (2% for the very large breeds) of the bodyweight daily. For example a 500kg horse, will 5.9kg-10kg. Avoiding feeding less than 1%.
Low quality, low sugar forage. Balance the diet with a low dose rate of vitamins and minerals supplement and a good quality protein from full fat soya bean or similar.
After treating the initial bout of laminitis, it can be managed by Turnout 1-3 hours a day and late at night after 10pm or early morning before 10am. Avoiding frosts, as this increases the fructins in the grass.
Exercise is now considered a good thing as it will increase the blood flow to the hooves. In the case of severe bouts of laminitis, this may not always be possible.
Cold hosing the feet can be considered as an aid to reduce the heat and offer a short term relief for the horse but it is not a fix.
Alfalfa Hay or chaff is an excellent addition to most horses diets, even those that are insulin resistant. It is lower in starch and sugar than most grass hays, with a higher protein content, however this does make it more calorific.
You can give them feeds specifically for metabolic issues or a ratio balancer.
There are many supplements on the market, these are not drugs and thus do not come under the regulations of medicines act. They are considered to be feed additives and are loosely regulated under the feeding stuffs regulations.As such they are not allowed to claim they prevent, cure or treat laminitis , although the majority are produced from reputable companies with long histories of horse health care and specific ingredients can be of great value.
MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS OR BALANCERS.
These can be used with a combined sugar/starch of no more than 10%-12%
Magnesium and chromium both assist insulin and glucose dynamics, with zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin E, iondonised salt are also high up there. Essential amino acids such as Lysine, methionine and thereonine are often found in the suitable feeds.
Feeds such as micronised linseed is also an excellent choice for feeding the laminitic horse, this contains low starch, low sugar, high protein, its high in omega oils 3,6 & 9 , it has anti-inflammatory properties and is highly palatable for most horse. Many of the supplement and balancer producers use linseed as an ingredient.
We have found a great link to a guide for feeding the laminitic horse, which offers feeding guidelines, body scoring and top tips, take a look for yourself at URL: http://eastkentequine.uk/ems_diet
We also recommend calling your feed brand help lines for more guidance.
Here is a list of feeds that are suitable for use on a laminitic horse or pony. Please check the relevant feed websites for more information on feeding status. (U -underweight laminitic)
Allen & Page Fast Fibre - “L” Mix - Veteran Light
Baileys - No.14 Lo-Cal Balancer - No.19 Performance Balancer - No.21 Ease & Excel - Keep Calm
Light Chaff - Alfalfa plus oil (U) -Speedi-Beet - Fibre-beet
Blue Chip- Lami-light
Dengie - Alfa A molasses free - Hi-Fi lite - Hi-Fi molasses free - Healthy Hooves - Alfa Beet
Healthy Hooves molasses free
Dodson & Horrell - Cushcare - Fibergy - Safe & Sound - Kwik-beet
Saracen - Shape up - Essentials balancer
Spillers - High Fibre cubes - Speedy fibre mash - Happy Hoof - Happy Hoof molasses free
Daily Fibre - Lite & lean Balancer
Top Spec - Anti-Lam balancer - Cool condition cubes - Topchop Alfa
Fibre-beet Coolstance Coprameal Micronised linseed
Supplements - Baileys Digest plus - D&H lami-free - Global Herbs Lami-pro - GWF X-Lam pellets
Disclaimer - The details contained within this article are for information purposes only. This does not replace any professional advise. The material has been sourced from articles from vets, farriers, associations, organisations and feed manufacturers. No responsibility will be taken for the acuracy, no liability is accepted for damages arising from use, reference or reliance on any information given. We will always recommend that you seek a consultation from professional bodies, vet & Farriers.