Laminitis or founder as it is often referred to, is the inflamed soft tissue of the foot that can separate from the hoof wall. In severe cases laminitis can cause the coffin bone rotate to the point where it protrudes out of the sole or bottom of the horses hoof. This rotation happens when the laminae separates from the hoof wall causing the deep digital flexor tendon that is connected to the underside of the coffin bone to rotate the coffin bone down. This inflammation of the laminae causes the horse much discomfort and lameness.
What causes Laminitis in horses?
Knowing the root cause can allow you to not chase symptoms, but support the body at the root of the problem to support true health. Metabolic conditions are a common cause. Metabolic conditions would be able to be recognized by the horse being overweight, fat pockets over the tail head, cresty or fatty neck, and have the label of an easy keeper. These types of horses typically have a thyroid condition. Horses that have had an excess of rich feed are also prone to laminitis. This could be the horse that escaped from the corral and ate rich hay or got into the grain, and ate an excess amount. The organ that gets stressed in these examples would be the kidneys, as they are trying to filter the excesses that they were just exposed to.
What should I feed my horse prone to laminitis?
Knowing the early warning signs of laminitis is important so that if a diet change is needed, you can make those changes as quickly as possible. A wholesome, bland diet is beneficial for these laminitic horses. Cutting back or stopping grazing time on pastures are important. Replace rich hay or pasture with grass hay, if you can find hay that has a variety of grasses is always beneficial. Be sure to stay away from molasses and processed feeds. When it comes to grain a low starch or timothy hay pellet would be most appropriate.
What is the best treatment for laminitis?
Herbal treatments for horses with laminitis have shown to be very beneficial. Herbs are the purest form of vitamins and minerals and the easiest assimilated at the cellular level. Silver Lining Herbs provides a blend of herbs called 23 Laminae Support to supports the body’s natural response to inflammation while increasing circulation to the foot so the body can heal itself in a natural fashion. Then you must also consider the root cause in treatment. If you believe it was caused from a thyroid condition, SLH’s 26 Thyroid Support is a great blend of herbs for horses to naturally support a horses thyroid. If you felt like the laminitis was caused from excessive feed, triggering the kidney’s to be overwhelmed the 37 Kidney Support is great to support that natural detoxification process while supporting normal kidney function.
Laminitis or founder in horses is something that needs prompt attention, however with the proper education and practices it is very manageable.