Lami season is well upon us and finding the right feed suitable for your Laminitic prone pony or horse can be hard. Some people think that you should avoid feeding Laminitics all together through spring and summer to avoid weight gain or excessive feed intake and this is not only false but could actually leave your pony deficient in vital vitamins and minerals that are essential for their overall health and well being. Being proactive in ensuring your horse doesn’t get laminitis can be crucial, and starting them on a Laminitic suitable feed can help protect them from potential bouts of Laminitis.
-Laura and Harvey (above) Harvey is fed on Blue Chip Lami-Lite to keep him trim and in shape.
What are the causes of Laminitis?
There are many causes of Laminitis, Conditions such as PPID and EMS are closely linked to Laminitis, but some people don’t realise that a simple change in environment can affect your horse in such a way. Keeping your horse trim and away from high starch and sugar feeds is a way to protect him / her from the dangers of Laminitis. Here are some of the main causes of laminitis explained:
- High intake of Starch and Sugar.
Otherwise known as Soluble Carbohydrates if an large amount of Sugar and Starch is ingested it causes an overload in the digestive system.
Bacteria breaks this down but causes acidity in the hindgut which in turn kills the bacteria. As the bacteria die they release toxins into the gut. These toxins disrupt blood flow, which can cause laminitis.
Many people don’t realise that stress can cause laminitis. Changes in environment or long periods of travelling can induce a type of stress related laminitis, something not many people have heard of. If this is the case isolate your horse and call the vet straight away.
Overweight horses are more susceptible to Laminitis. Many horses will be totally happy with a balancer and hay and grass and do not need feeding excessive amounts of feed alongside rich grass and hay. Slow feeder nets are invaluable for such horses, as they need to trickle feed small amounts and often.
What to do if you think your horse is Laminitic?
Call the vet, before anything get a vets opinion. Put your horse in a stable or confined area away from grass with a shavings bed (if possible) with a large net of soaked hay in a slow feeder net. Ideally, give the horse the option to move without the requirement to move.
Frog supports or Hoof boots can be used to cushion the feet and protect the soles from bruising if needed. Most boots can be ridden in, and these make a sound investment to leave your horse in while his feet recover.
Avoid putting your horse from poor grazing onto lush grass and causing a ‘spike’ in his sugar levels and try to make all changes gradually. Strip Grazing and track systems can be invaluable for keeping your horse moving and eating small amounts, like they would naturally.
Find a low calorie feed to nutritionally support your horse. A Molasses free chaff combined with Blue Chip Lami-Lite, which is specifically formulated to aid and support the diet of a Laminitis horse. Containing a full vitamin and mineral package, with a dedicated hoof, skin and respiratory supplement and importantly a probiotic, which is included to aid digestion and nutrient absorption.