Laminitis in horses is hugely concerning for horses and owners alike. This term really just means inflammation (soreness) of the laminae in the feet. In a horse’s foot, there are sensitive laminae (made from blood vessels) and insensitive laminae made from the horn of the hoof. Sensitive laminae are the very fine membranes in the foot that hold the foot bone in place inside the hoof.
The hoof can easily become inflamed and painful if the conditions are right making them very prone to problems. People generally know the signs to look out for – uncomfortable feet, legs, difficulty in moving freely, and general discomfort. But what conditions might encourage laminitis in horses?
2.Your horse has had trouble with laminitis before, there may be rings on the hoof
3.Your horse is grazing fertilised grass, this can be quite dangerous and affect digestion
4.If there are agricultural sprays used a lot nearby, this puts your horse at higher risk of Cushing’s and EMS
5.If your horse is showing any Cushings
6.If your horse is overweight or is showing any signs of EMS
If any of the above apply, always keep a check on your horses’ feet. Find out how to check the pulse on arteries just above the hoof and make sure you know what the normal temperature of your horse’s hooves feels like.
When you get used to the normal pulse of your horse and the temperature of the hooves you will find it easier to tell if there is a problem.
But even so, knowing whether there is laminitis present can be subtle. All sorts of people may think your horse has laminitis and sometimes even calling your vet can be confusing – for them and for you.
As Spring is just around the corner and mild weather is making it easier for grass to grow, the situation is a lot easier. If horses suddenly have problems grazing new fertilized grass coming through, the situation may be a ‘no brainer’. To avoid problems owners, need to immediately take their horses off the grass.
The other thing to do is to try feeding a digestive liver tonic, to help with the breakdown of grass. This will often give instant results for laminitis in horses and immediately make your horse a lot safer. It can help your horse get back on the grass with the right approach to pasture management.
Using such a digestive aid can be an easy way of telling whether you have just a ‘rich grass’ laminitis or whether there might be an issue with Cushing’s or EMS. If with care, the right digestive aid makes no difference to laminitis in horses, then you need to find out whether there is an underlying Cushings or EMS problem.
You can get your vet to test for Cushing’s or EMS and there are different types of solutions available. Alternatively, if the problems are very minor nutritional approaches, this can be managed through supplementation.
The supplement industry has moved on a long way recently and you will be very surprised at what is possible when you combine modern science with ancient wisdom from the past. It may be necessary to combine approaches for the metabolism, hormones, and digestive problems with grass.
*always speak to your vet for further advice