Look out for LAMINITIS
I’m looking out the window this morning, soaking up the glorious SUN!!
It feels like I moved to a different city after being so wet for soo long.
Now I don’t want to rain on the sunny brigade (pun intended), but I want to warn you that today is the start of perfect grass growing conditions. Which is great as most of us (and our horses) are eagerly looking at that non-muddy patch of tasty new green grass just dying to move onto it and munch thru!
Beware – this is the time the dreaded Laminitis lurks, just waiting to strike!
In a nutshell (I like simple definitions for things) the green grass (high sugar/ starch) for some horses, especially those that have gone without much goodness in their pasture for the long winter, can go straight from the foregut (small intestine) thru to the horse’s hindgut without being digested very well.
In the hind gut the good bacteria that breakdown the sugar in the grass can’t keep up, causing fermentation because the bad bacteria multiply.
The very special conditions in the gut get out of whack – importantly the acid/base balance. Soo the acidity climbs. This can start a chain reaction of metabolic events you don’t want e.g. colic, diarrhoea, lamintis…🤒
In the case of laminitis, the bad bacteria release endotoxins into the bloodstream.
These activate enzymes in the foot which destroy the laminae inside the hoof. Inflammation happens, there is a reduction in blood flow and bones can move. Basically, everything inside the hoof becomes unstable. It’s extremely painful and a very long road to recovery (if it’s even possible).
Soo what to do?? Fibre folks, fibre!! Lots of hay, (old is best). Strip graze is best, graze for short periods of time if you can. If you have cows put them thru the fresh grass first. Exercise and low starch feeds.
And best of all herbs, there are some wonderful herbs and treatments for laminitis prone horses. I have had horses with laminitis and can attest to getting them back to health with a herbal prescription and a strict feeding practice. 🌿
And believe me, from experience, if you can prevent laminitis in the first place, do it! Go here for a carefully formulated diet for your horse. https://dlequine.co.nz/index.php/diet-programmes-and-herbal-formulas/