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Laminitis Awareness and Advice
Some of the things to be looking out for if you are concerned that your horse could be prone to laminitis...
Coming out of winter into the spring most horse owners can not wait to get their horses back out to pasture. For people/horse owners however this feels like a unsure and uneasy time. Good doers that have the potential to develop conditions such as laminitis and it can be a minefield knowing what we should and shouldn’t be doing. So what should your horse look like coming out of winter? Before horses became domesticated they would naturally lose condition and weight throughout the winter due to the lack of forage and weather. Due to modern feeding and stabling horses tend to keep condition all year round and don’t let them have that ‘natural’ weight loss. This can cause problems when they are turned out onto fresh grass and their weight inevitably increases. Some of the things to be looking out for if you are concerned that your horse could be prone to laminitis are;
1. A strong digital pulse - the digital artery runs down the back of the fetlock and normally you would be able to feel this faintly. In a laminitic horse or pony this would be much stronger, almost pounding. Be familiar with this pulse on your horse and look out for any changes.
2. Obesity - Many horse owners overfeed their horses, or feed them the wrong things which can overload their digestive system, release toxins and disrupt the blood flow in the feet, causing laminitis. Have a look at your horses condition, and what you are feeding them, can you make any changes here?
3. Weight shifting - Horses experiencing pain in their feet will try and take the pressure off by shifting the weight from side to side or leaning back. This is a clear sign that there is discomfort in the feet and steps should be taken to reduce this. If you suspect your horse has laminitis you should contact your vet. Things that you can do to reduce the risk to your horse are;
1. Limit the amount of sugars and starch they have access to by either reducing turnout time, muzzling them in the field or turning them out overnight when there are less sugars for them to eat.
2. Feeding a diet feed balancer which is appropriate such as Blue Chip Lami-Light will provide all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients your horse or pony needs to maintain optimum health and well-being on a daily basis. The whole-cereal and molasses free formula is naturally low in starches and sugars, making it perfect for all types of horses and ponies. The quadruple action digestive supplement promotes the development and maintenance of a healthy digestive environment, increasing the efficiency of nutrient absorption and helping your horse or pony gain the most they can from their diet. 3. Monitor your horse's body condition and fat score, noting any changes, and adjusting your horses diet if needed. Not forgetting the digital pulse, each horse is different so familiarise yourself with your horse and be aware of any changes.
Coloured Horse – (Blog star This Cob Can, Aka Harvey, is fed on Blue Chip Lami Light to keep his weight down year round)
Black Horse (Flint, the ‘DutchWarm Cob’, is powered by Blue Chip Feed, to keep him fit and not fat)