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Caring For Laminitis

caring for laminitis


NAF's Top Tips For Caring For Laminitis


As the spring flush of grass comes through the recurrent risk of laminitis once again plays on the horse owners mind. Take a look at NAF’s Top Tips for caring for Laminitis:


  • Monitor your horse’s weight regularly
  • Feed high fibre, low Non Structural Carbohydrates diets
  • Manage grazing
  • Maintain fitness
  • Feed a supplement to maintain healthy laminae


The basic diet should be carefully managed to be provide the bulk of the requirement as high fibre with little, or no, additional of cereals. That fibre needs to be low in non-structural carbohydrates, so look for a hay or forage of quality <10-12% Dry Matter as a guide. If you are struggling to source suitable hay or forage you may also consider soaking hay overnight to reduce nutrient quality to a more suitable level.

Pasture management is key to controlling the risk of pasture induced laminitis. Avoid over-grazed or ‘stressed’ grass, as while it tries to regrow it will actually be high in NSC, as are many common pasture weeds. Therefore it’s better to have a well-managed, quality sward but not too lush and care should be taken to monitor intake. Consider turning out with a grazing muzzle, or using strip grazing. Try not to just fence off a small area for laminitics as this reduces their opportunity to keep moving and naturally active. Remember the importance of regular exercise, which not only helps to control weight gain in good do-ers, but also ensures healthy blood flow around the laminae.



paddock paradise by NAF



When you see a horse or pony daily it’s easy to miss gradual changes in bodyweight, use a weigh tape fortnightly and keep a diary to monitor any changes. Although they can be inaccurate, if the same tape is used by the same person they give a good guide. Most weigh tapes will also have a centimetre marker and it’s worth making a note of the mid-neck circumference, which is a good indicator of the laying down of fat pads in IR animals.
Caring for laminitis - using the tape measure 


By having a better understanding of all the different elements influencing laminitis syndrome, and ensuring that good management is in place to monitor those elements, we can ensure that our laminitics and Cushings horses and ponies can stay fit and healthy throughout the year.


With thanks to the team at NAF for this article.









Source Details

Eloise Chugg, NAF

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