Horse hooves can be affected by laminitis, a potentially fatal and painful condition. This condition can be caused by improper hoof care or overfeeding and can cause lameness, chronic discomfort, permanent damage to the hoof structure, and even permanent disability. There are ways to treat and prevent laminitis in horses. This article will give you a complete overview of laminitis prevention and treatment for horses. It will also answer common questions about the condition.
What is Laminitis?
Laminitis refers to inflammation of the horse’s hoof’s sensitive laminae. The hoof wall connects to the coffin bones through the laminae. When they become inflamed, it can cause the coffin bones to rotate or sink in the hoof capsule. This causes pain and discomfort. If not treated, laminitis can progress to chronic and become severe.
There are many factors that can cause laminitis, including:
- Poor hoof care includes leaving hooves unclipped and not maintaining the correct angle of the hoof wall.
- Overfeeding can cause too much stress to the laminae.
- Exposition to toxic substances, such as pesticides and fertilizers
- Metabolic disorders such as Cushing’s Disease, for example,
- Colic, or other illnesses that can affect horses such as making them “founders”, are all examples of infections or diseases.
Laminitis’ most obvious symptom is lameness. However, other symptoms may include:
- Heat in the hoof
- Sensitivity to touch
- The coronary band is proud of its flesh
- In the hindquarters, muscle wasting
- Hoof pulse rate high
How to Prevent Laminitis
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your horse is the best way to prevent laminitis. This includes:
- A balanced diet with limited grains and high-sugar treats
- Maintaining a balanced and well-trimmed hooves
- Avoiding contact with toxic substances
- Exercising your horse regularly
- Access to high quality forage
It is also important to know if your horse has any metabolic or infectious conditions. If this happens, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.
How to treat laminitis
Your veterinarian should be consulted if your horse has laminitis. The severity of the condition will determine the treatment options, but they may include:
- Restraint for several days or even weeks
- Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers
- Ice therapy to reduce inflammation
- Shoe trimming and hoof trimming to alleviate pressure on the laminae
- Correctional trimming and therapeutic shoes to realign the hoof
- Correctional surgery to realign coffin bone
Sometimes, laminitis can require that your horse be treated for several months. To get the best results, it is crucial to follow your veterinarian’s advice and to use a consistent treatment program.
What are the chances of horses suffering from laminitis in the future?
Horses with laminitis depend on their severity and how effective the treatment is. With proper management and treatment, most horses will make a complete recovery. Some horses may suffer permanent hoof damage.
Are shoes able to help horses with laminitis and can they be used by them?
Yes, shoes can be used to help horses with laminin