Tag: animal health

Laminitis and Founder – recognising symptoms and what to do

laminitis, founder, recovery

One of the major concerns for horse owners, especially in Springtime, is laminitis and founder. If you can recognise the early signs and address the condition as quickly as possible, all the better for your horse.

As an animal homeopath this is the most common ailment I successfully address for clients horses on a daily basis.

Laminitis and founder are extremely painful conditions. If not addressed promptly, laminitis can result in rotation of the third phalanx (coffin bone) through the sole of the hoof. Inflammation occurs in the sensitive laminae in the horse’s hooves, restricting circulation in the hoof. Separation of the laminae – founder – can also result in seedy toe and abscesses which can also be extremely painful for the horse.

Laminitis episodes can be triggered by many different circumstances, including:

  • An overload of sugar and starches in the diet, possibly from grazing on lush pastures. This can cause an imbalance in the gut bacteria and production of an endotoxin that triggers inflammation in the hoof laminae
  • Poorly trimmed feet – long toes
  • Mineral deficiency and poor gut health
  • A secondary reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, such as a uterus infection in broodmares
  • Insulin resistance (ponies with hard crested necks) and horses with Cushing disease

Here are the symptoms you should look for to spot an acute case of Laminitis:

  •  Heat in the coronary band and the hoof – the horse will stand ‘underneath’ itself leaning weight on the hind end
  • Tenderness of the hooves, obvious pain when walking on hard surfaces or not wanting to move at all
  • A strong and bounding digital pulse ( felt behind the pastern)
  • Obvious pain, anxiety, sweating and increased respiration

Other symptoms found in chronic laminitis in horses include:

  •  Separation of the sensitive laminae
  • Third phalanx displacement or rotation
  • Sole of hoof becomes flat or dropped
  • Abscesses and seedy toe (these can also occur with acute laminitis)

Preventing laminitis

Keep your horse or pony in the correct weight range. Exercise your pony regularly as this increases circulation. Feed a balanced diet (using a balanced vitamin and mineral supplement). Do not feed your horse or pony sugars, and do not feed grain or lucerne to fat ponies. Do not lock fat ponies up in small yards without exercising them.

Cloe Supreme web2

Natural remedies

A number of natural remedies are useful in addressing laminitis.

  • Homeopathic remedies can be used to reduce pain and inflammation in the hooves, and can help resolve laminitis promptly. Homeopathics can also be given two to three times a week, to prevent laminitis.
  • Rescue remedy can help reduce stress.
  • Herbs can reduce inflammation, particularly Chamomile & Rosehips. Herbs for easing pain (include White Willow and Devil’s Claw).
  • Correct hoof trimming should be an ongoing part of your care regime.

New studies have found that applying ice water around inflamed hooves can prevent the onset of laminitis if caught in the early stages. Running cold water over the lower legs and hooves can also help reduce the inflammation.

Prevention is better than cure in laminitis cases. It is comforting to know there are safe, fast, natural solutions to address this condition if it does happen to your horse.

For a consultation or for more information on natural therapies, remedies and solutions, please call or email Belinda.

Tips for new users of Weather Shield Loose Lick – Belinda’s Custom Mix

Introduce your horse to Loose Lick Supplements by adding a handful to their daily feed, and make it available as an ad lib feed as well. Cut back the amount in their feed over two to three weeks until they choose it for themselves. Most horses will take to Loose Lick straight away.

Some horses may consume a lot of Loose Lick in the first two to three weeks – they are making up for past deficiencies and their intake should level out.

If your horse has been used to a block lick containing molasses, it may take a few weeks to get used to the new taste. Remove all block licks before introducing Loose Lick supplement.

You do not need to offer any other vitamin and mineral supplement while using the correct dosage of Weather Shield Loose Lick*. We recommend you offer it with hay and, if required, plain hard feed such as chaff and copra or Maxisoy, or your choice of grains. There is no need for expensive manufactured feeds with added minerals and vitamins.
* Other supplements are required only if your horse has a health problem or is a racing or working animal that needs extra electrolytes.
* For travelling or nervous horses I also recommend my Vitamin B with Biotin Complex (see Vitamin Supplement page on store for details).
* For horses with stifle problems or injuries I also recommend my Natural Vitamin E & Organic Selenium supplement. Weather Shield Loose Lick contains both these vitamins.
Here’s a reminder of how much Weather Shield Loose Lick Custom Mix you should be using –

Loose Lick feeding table - small

Individual requirements may vary depending on the nutritional value of pasture, hay or other feeds in your horse’s diet. Also breeding animals (mares in foal etc.) and growing young stock have a higher mineral requirement. The above dosages are a guide only.
It is also highly recommended to offer this product ad lib, in case your horse requires more than you are adding in its feed. Some horses take a little Loose Lick, and others spend five or ten minutes at the lick every day. You’ll soon find out what your horse prefers – and see the benefits!

To read more about Belinda’s Custom Weather Shield Loose Lick , please visit our Loose Lick Supplements page.