Laminitis…the word that strikes fear into the heart of horse owners! Along with the joys of Spring and the feeling of relief when you turn your horse out for summer and wave a fond goodbye to the daily grind, comes the impending doom of spring grass. Spring grass usually means two things… your horse turns into a fire breathing dragon, with the physique of a barrel.
Native ponies tend to be more susceptible to the condition due to their natural high insulin levels and ability to survive on low quality forage. That said, every horse should be treat as a potential Laminitic!
It most cases of swelling, cold hosing is recommended to reduce heat in the injury. Although cold water may reduce the heat, it can also cause further damage to tissue that has already been damaged due to lack of blood supply…which is not what we want.
In some cases drinking a large quantity of cold water after exercise can cause colic …but not Laminitis!
In fact, a whopping 90% of cases of Laminitis are caused by an underlying hormonal condition, namely Cushing’s disease or Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
Big no! Forced walking can increase the risk of permanent damage to the hoof, allow the horse to walk if it desires. Fitting Frog Supports will make a horse that is in pain walking or even standing much more comfortable.
We need not point out that this one is a definite myth! In fact, experts now believe that they could be in greater risk due to the excess weight they carry.
This one is true! Sunny yet frosty mornings are common in early spring-time and present high levels of sugar production.
This may help in some cases and seems like the logical thing to do, however research has show that some horses and ponies can become wise to it and actually consume more in a short amount of time. Fitting a grazing muzzle can be a wise choice, studies showing reduced intake and weight gain, but make sure that you monitor muzzle use as your horse/pony may become frustrated with prolonged use. When stabled, using a slow feeder haynet with small holes can also help to reduce your horses food intake, and should keep him busy too!
Although the two terms are used interchangeably, they do not describe the same condition. Founder describes more accurately the chronic condition, in which case the coffin bone has already rotated or sunk.