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Horse Articles :: Laminitis



Laminitis is one of the most crippling diseases impacting horses. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), "Laminitis (sometimes called founder) is a specific condition of the foot that can produce lameness. Laminitis is characterized by inflammation and destruction of the cellular bond between the sensitive and insensitive laminae of the hoof."

Barbaro, a Kentucky Derby winner, is perhaps the most well-known horse to die of Laminitis. He did not die in vain as his death has brought great attention to this dreaded disease. And, as a result, research funds have poured in.

There are many causes of Laminitis. Grazing on lush green spring grass for instance can cause Laminitis. Getting into the feed room and gorging on too much feed, or eating lawn clippings, may also be a cause for this illness in your horse.

Would you think that excessive walking on concrete could cause Laminitis? Well, it most definitely could!

How about hay? Yes, the consumption of hay, especially fine (non-coarse) hay can also cause Laminitis.

If a horse retains some membranes after giving birth to a foal it could cause Laminitis in a mare.

Changes in your horse's diet should be made gradually, since dietary changes can be the cause of Laminitis, as well.

In addition, ponies and thick crested horses are more susceptible to Laminitis than other horses.

Well, we now know that there are a number of factors that can cause Laminitis in a horse. The best remedy for this condition is prevention.

Preventative Measures

Good stable management and nutritional management will help prevent Laminitis. When that lush spring grass comes in, and your horse looks longingly across the fence, let him in to graze but, limit the time your horse spends eating it. Gradually let him eat for longer periods each day for a two-week period. After that, break it off for a spell (say, 2 weeks).

Good all-around horse management is the key to preventing Laminitis in your horse or pony. By steadily applying the preventative measures listed above, the odds of catching this dreadful disease can be significantly reduced.

Look into horse feed called, "Happy Hoof". Our horses had a serious hoof disease. One of the things that helped them overcome this illness was Happy Hoof. They really seem to enjoy the taste, too.

If you think your horse is suffering from this disease, do not rely on the above listed steps, alone. As has been stated, Laminitis is a serious problem. The survival of a horse suffering from it is not guaranteed, even after the best of care. But, do all you can by consulting a horse veterinarian, immediately. Try to find a specialist. Ask the horse veterinarians you contact who they recommend to combat Laminitis. You might also ask people in online horse forums what vet they used to deal with this affliction.

About the Author

Anna Persson is a syndicated horse and pony columnist. She is the editor of "Happy Horses - Tips and Tales", an ezine catering to equine enthusiasts. Subscribe now for free and discover horse news, tips, stories, sayings, jokes, pictures, freebies and more. Please place this article where you see fit. Horse News











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