Friday, August 3, 2018
Laminitis season back with us
12:35 pm gmt
What is laminitis?
is a distressing and painful condition for a horse or pony. It can also be called Founder when it gets to a chronic
stage. Often it is caused by too much rich grass or food. Native breeds of horses and small overweight ponies are particulary
prone to it. Swelling occurs inside the hoof wall and equines will often lie down to ease the chronic pain. It is vital that
we react fast when we see our horse looking uncomfortable on her feet or lying down a lot in the paddock. Seek veterinary
advice immediately if you have never dealt with laminitis before.
Prevention is better
Laminitis can be avoided once we are aware
of the symptoms and what to look out for. One of our horses, a huge 17.1 hh Irish Draught, got this horrible condition when
he was eleven years old. His owner was expecting a baby and hadn't been able to ride him. A particularly wet spring led to
a flush of high quality grass and next thing the horse was shifting uncomfortably on his hind legs. We called the vet who
was baffled because laminitis usually shows up in the front legs.
symptom of laminitis is a horse holding a front leg out in front of her or leaning backwards to ease the weight off the
front legs. Or lying down a lot. The vet diagnosed a back problem and treated our horse for that but fortunately an experienced
friend spotted the hind leg symptoms. We were then able to treat him for laminitis and the horse went on to compete at
national dressage level and even won championships in the show hunter ring. He was always prone to laminitis but we kept
an eye on him and managed it. He lived to the age of 28 and died with his shoes on. The vet was most impressed.
More information about coping with laminitis
got a whole page dedicated to laminitis and how to cope with it. Experienced owners who have had equines with this condition
have been generous with their advice. There are also links to products that help keep it at bay without using drugs.
I would like to emphasize again: if you haven't coped with laminitis
before and you suspect your horse or pony may have it, call the veterinary surgeon immediately as it is a very serious condition
and can prove fatal if left untreated.
More on coping with laminitis here