Horse Feed Tips for Horses With Laminitis
By Robin Hale
Laminitis occurs when the soft tissue of a horse’s hoof becomes inflamed. This causes the damage to the laminar cells in the hoofs, and sometimes even results in the death of the cells. Horses often experience the loss of movement in their foot because of this. Severe cases can even cause founder, or the sinking of the horse’s coffin bone.
Management of laminitis requires special horse feed and care, as factors such as starch intake, body weight, energy balance, and mineral balance can greatly affect the damaged tissue in the hoof. If you are taking care of a horse with laminitis, contacting your vet and farrier is the first step you should take. However, managing your horse’s nutrition is also vital
Nutritional Tips for Laminitis
When a horse suffers from laminitis, nutrition is a key part of recovery. Before you change your horse’s diet, though, speak to your vet and see if he or she has any suggestions on what your horse needs to eat. While the vet’s suggestions may differ, these are most likely the tips he or she will provide you.
- Weight Control- Control of your horse’s weight is extremely important, because excess weight, along with lack of exercise, can cause stress to your horse’s injury. Regular exercise can also assist your horse in both physically and mentally recovering from the injury. After the initial phase of laminitis is over, regular exercise and activity will help to restore blood flow to the foot and speed up tissue repair.
- Pasture- While a pasture is good for your horse, it should be limited while he has laminitis. If you can use a grazing muscle, do so. If you can not, limit his access to lush fields until the latter part of the day when the fructans (sugars) in plants are reduced. If you are worried about your horse may consume too many plant sugars, you may also keep him on a dry field instead of a lush, grassy one. This way, he will still be able to move about and exercise.
- Feed-Horses with laminitis should be fed high quality grass hay and horse feed products that are specially formulated for metabolic issues and weight control. Make sure the feed is also well-balanced with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as these are essential for the repair of tissues. Also, be sure to steer clear of any feed that contains high levels of starch
- Supplements-Some horses with laminitis are sensitive to insulin. If low levels of starch produced in feed to not help to keep their blood sugar level, you may want to consider adding supplemental chromium and magnesium.
- Water-While it is often overlooked, water is one of the best nutrients you can give your horse. It is a critical part of combating laminitis in horses, and fresh clean water will also improve overall health and help circulate blood.
If you are dealing with a horse that has laminitis, knowing how to feed him correctly is essential to his care. Follow these nutrition tips and provide your beloved equine with the right horse feed for treating this condition.
An established and leading supplier of horse feed supplements, Equiform Nutrition has over a hundred years experience providing advice and high quality products to the equine world. Using the latest technology, high quality control standards and sophisticated manufacturing techniques, our horse feed supplements are created from the purest and most natural ingredients.
We use information based on scientific analysis to ensure the correct balance of ingredients for optimum horse health. We also pride ourselves on the fact that our products do not contain banned substances. Working closely with jockey clubs, breeders and trainers, we are constantly growing and improving. Your horse’s health and well being is our goal.
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