October 30, 2017
With the varying hot and cold temperatures, along with still a decent amount of rain, we are currently noticing there has been an increase in the amount of cases of laminitis in horses. Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae in a horses hoof. In extreme situations the pedal bone in the hoof loses support and drops or rotates towards the sole of the hoof. It is a life threatening condition and should be treated accordingly. A horse which has been affected is more susceptible to be affected by the condition again.
There can be a range of causes including
Access to excessive amounts of lush pasture/hay/grain leading to excessive weight
Retained placentas in breeding mares
Trauma to the soles of the hooves
Reluctance to move
Leaning back to take weight off the front hooves
Laying down more than usual
Increase in pulse within the hooves
Pain in the sole of the hoof
Prevention is better than cure. This can be achieved by moderating food intake and providing a balanced diet. Restricting access to lush areas of pasture is sometimes warranted. Regular exercise is ideal and monitoring the horse for weight gain. An excessively cresty neck indicates a horse is carrying too much weight and should have their diet adjusted. Regular hoof trims and providing adequate hoof care is also vital.
If a horse is thought to have become laminitic, a Veterinarian should be contacted immediately. Usually these cases are treated with anti-inflammatories and dietary restrictions. All information is sourced from http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animal-diseases/horses/founder-laminitis-in-horses