Every day many horses are diagnosed with laminitis, which is a painful condition that affects the feet of horses

Every day many horses are diagnosed with laminitis, which is a painful condition that affects the feet of horses. Most of the time laminitis is preventable so it is important that you know laminitis prevention so that your horse does not have to suffer with this painful condition.

Causes of laminitis:

  • Grain overload (eating too much grain at one time such as your horse breaking into the feed room and eating too much)
  • Too much lush pasture (this happens many times in the spring when your horse eats too much grass before his body has time to adapt to the sudden changes)
  • Retained placenta in a mare after foaling
  • Drinking too much cold water when overheated
  • Severe colic
  • Excessive work on a hard surface

Horses that are at risk for laminitis:

  • Draft horses
  • Ponies
  • Older horses with Cushing’s Disease
  • Overweight or obese horses
  • Horses that have previously had laminitis

Signs of laminitis:

  • Sore feet (most often only the front feet are affected, but all four feet can be affected as well)
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid breathing or pulse rate
  • Heat in the feet
  • Increased digital pulse in the feet
  • Reluctance to stand or get up

Treatment of laminitis: (the treatment of laminitis by your veterinarian will depend upon the severity of his condition.) Treatment methods may include:

  • Administering fluids
  • Administering pain killers
  • Soft bedding for the horse to lay down or stand in
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Corrective shoeing (heart bars)

As mentioned earlier, the best cure for laminitis is laminitis prevention. If you have an at risk horse you should make sure that you are not contributing to the cause. If you think that your horse has laminitis, you should start treatment immediately as it will not get better on its own.

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