What is laminitis & founder?
🐴 What is Laminitis & Founder?
⚠️ Ever had a horse suffer with Laminitis or Founder?
Laminitis and Founder are often considered the same thing, however they are quite different. Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae, ie – the soft tissue structures that attach the hoof wall to the coffin bone (sometimes referred to as the Pedal Bone or P3). Founder is when the laminae become so damaged, they fail. This allows the coffin bone and hoof wall to separate, which leads to coffin bone rotation aka Founder.
⚠️ What causes Laminitis and Founder?
Excess consumption of grain, access to high sugar pasture, obesity, exposure to various drugs/medications, stress, retained placentas in mares, any gastro-intestinal abnormality within the horse (diarrhea or colic), illness or fever, cushings, insulin resistance and the list goes on……
⚠️ Owners can control or influence some of these causes, some they cannot.
“Thankfully” one of the most common causes of laminitis is diet/nutrition related. As horse owners that’s certainly something we have control over. Providing a balanced, low sugar, no grain diet, as well as managing pasture turn out is vital for laminitic horses. Mistakenly though, many people restrict their horse’s diet too much. This is actually one of the worst things to do to a laminitic horse (or any horse for that matter). Horses need to receive the appropriate amount of forage for their size, otherwise further health issues may develop. If a horse cannot go out onto pasture, forage needs to be supplemented in the form of hay. In the case of laminitic/foundered horses, the hay needs to be low sugar hay.
⚠️ Exercise to reduce risk……
The importance of exercise is often overlooked as a way to reduce the risk of laminitis/founder. Just 20-30mins a day of steady trot exercise can have a big impact on reducing the risk of laminitis. *Obviously, horses in pain or discomfort should never be forced to exercise!
⚠️ But doesn’t laminitis only happen in spring?
Laminitis and Founder can actually happen at any time of the year! Spring is higher risk, which makes it a great reason to allow your horse to naturally lose a little weight over winter.
⚠️ How can Just Grazin® custom nets help your laminitic/foundered horses?
By slowing hay consumption, while providing horses with a continued supply of forage. Consuming hay in this way also helps to prevent insulin levels from spiking. Just Grazin® hay nets reduce hay waste, stop hay blowing away, being spread around or urinated on. Plus, hay nets make soaking very easy, which is something which may be required while recovering from laminitis.
➡️ For informational purposes only. If you’re concerned your horse may be at risk, consult directly with your Vet or qualified equine hoof care provider for professional advice.
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