Tag: founder in horses

Feeding the ‘Good Doer’

For all the horse owners that have ponies or miniatures that you struggle to keep the weight off then this information is for you. With over 22 + years’ experience in owning and breeding show quality miniature ponies & horses and Welsh cobs I have learnt so much about weight management. Along with my Equine Nutrition qualifications, pasture management and focus on natural diets I would love to share my knowledge, so you do not need to spend years battling with weight control with your ponies.

Firstly, you need to look at what you are feeding now and work out where the calories are coming from and reduce where possible. Let’s take a closer look & check out the alternatives.

  1. Pasture – this will vary depending where you live and what type of grasses your horse is grazing on. Cool season C3 grasses (like rye grass & clover) are higher in feed quality and unfortunately sugar (fructan). Warm season and tropical grasses C4 are usually lower in sugar, but can contain oxalates.

What to feed good doers? Preferred grass & hay for good doers included Rouges grass, teff hay, lucerne hay (in moderation as its fattening), timothy hay, diget grass or some native grasses. Straw is also a option for roughage, headed ryegrass straw, barley or oaten straw (no grain) are also options so your horse has something to chew on.

When to graze? Early morning is best, 2 hours before sunrise and 2/3 hours after sunrise. Why you ask? The sun causes the carbohydrates/sugar in the grass to rise as the plants photosynthesize during the day and are the highest late afternoon and evening. Then the plant uses these sugars up overnight for growth. If you are restricting your horses grass intake, then confining at night with low sugar hay to eat is the best.

  1. Hay – Is your hay low NSC? Safe hays for horses include Roges Grass, diget grass, teff hay and lucerne hay. Please note Lucerne hay is also fattening & high in protein and some horses can scour or get colic if they do not tolerate lucerne – limit the amounts for good doers. The high protein can also cause nitrate accumulations.

The quantity of hay is also important, the horse needs to consume around 1.5% to 2% (average 1.7%) of their bodyweight daily of dry feed (this includes pasture, hard feeds and hay). This is around 1.7kg per 100kg of bodyweight) For example a 500kg horse would need around 8.5kg of feed per day (dry weight).  If your horse is on pasture, this intake will vary depending on the pasture quality, poor may only contrite as little as 2kg per day or good/excellent pasture can be around 11kg per day. If your horse is on little grass or no grass, then offering the hay in slow feeder nets can help spread the intake over the day/night.

  1. Hard feeds – What is in the feeds you are giving? Are you feeding high calorie feeds or grains? If you have a fat or well rounded horse or pony then you should not be feeding pellets, processed feeds, grains or molasses base feeds – yes even the ones that have the laminitis ‘tick’ on the bag. When this came out the level of NCS to qualify was 40% NSC & we now know that you need to keep the NSC under 12% if possible, & under 10% for laminitis prone horses and ponies. Check the label very carefully, if it contains fillers or ‘mill run’ or molasses / sugar or any grain then look at removing that from your ‘good doers’ diet.

What to feed? A basic diet that contains plenty of fiber (pasture, hay, chaff, quality soy, copra), correct level of protein and balanced vitamins and minerals like Belinda’s Custom Loose Lick or Belinda’s Amazing Minerals Plus. Remember to look at feeding the 1.5% of bodyweight of dry matter per day.

  1. Oils? These add fat to the diet and not needed in most cased for fat horses. Exception being horses on no grass may need omegas.

In conclusion taking a close look at amounts and other feeds that might be contributing to your horses expanding weight. Never starve the weight off your horse, this can have dire consequences like hyperlipemia, ulcers, colic and other health issues. Exercise and movement are also important to keep the body functioning and help shift weight.

Please remember when you horse is on a ‘restricted’ diet you are offering Belinda’s Loose Lick ad-lib as your horse still needs quality vitamins and minerals to help balance a bland or basic diet. A balanced diet helps your horses body function correctly and contributes to a shiny coat and healthy hooves along with a healthy immune system to fight of any ailments.

Belinda Atkinson – Qualified Animal Nutritionist

 

Feeding senior horses a natural balanced diet

When looking at your senior horses diet there is a few things to check & rule out first.
– Dental care
– Worm burden
– Pain issues (bodywork)
– Environment (companion or availability of feed/pastures, low stress)
– Health (Cushing’s disease or arthritis are common in horses over 18 years old & can affect younger horses as well – seek veterinary advice on diagnosing these conditions).
– Regular feeding 2 (to 4) x a day depending on situation. Ad-lib hay or grass 24/7. Guide is 2% of your horses body weight per day (10kg for a 500kg horse).
If you have addressed and checked all of the above, then you can look at adjusting the diet to fit your horses age, situation and horse’s health. The poor gut function along with teeth issues can contribute to poor condition and the need to feed larger quantities of feed to an aged horse.
We have several older horses here, Beau (in photo – has no front teeth left, molars ok) is 39 years old this year (2020), we also have a 23 year old retired broodmare (that’s is insulin resistant, has arthritis and mild Cushing’s symptoms), 22 year old stallion (healthy), and a few miniature ponies in their late teens.

Senior horse feeding

Winter coat and condition on Beau 39 year old pony

This is what I feed to my old horses & it varies during the year depending on the availability of pasture and pasture quality. I will give you a couple of options that I adjust during the year.
Winter feeding for older horses
Quality pasture over 5cm in high available 24/7 if your horse can not eat / chew hay. Or ad-lib soft type hay like mixed pasture hay. If your older horse needs weight management then use a large hole slow feeder hay net.
Winter hard feed – fed twice a day
Copra & maxisoy (soaked to a mash with warm water)
Chaff selected on your horses requirements (my old horse has oaten chaff & option for Cushing’s low sugar chaff like rye Straw chaff or wheaten chaff
Whole lupins (soaked till soft)
Canola meal (to add fat)
Belinda’s Amazing Minerals Plus dose in feed & also Belinda’s Loose Lick ad-lib.  Note; BAM+ will help with nutrient absorption, gut health and the availability of the vitamins and minerals in the supplement – great for older or growing horses.
That’s it, balanced and keeps weight on during winter – KIS (keep it simple) is my feeding belief. This diet will also apply in Summer when we have no green grass & may add lucerne chaff as well. Please note some old horses or Cushing’s horses get scours or cannot tolerate lucerne (some will get colic) so be careful.
For Spring and times of adequate grass – only feed once a day if your horses weight is good
Copra (soaked)
Chaff – oaten
Belinda’s Amazing Minerals Plus in feed & Belinda’s Loose Lick ad-lib
This is what works for my horses in my situation and amounts are adjusted depending on body condition.

Photos of our 22 year old stallions top line and shiny winter coat & 23 year old broodmare that’s IR (suspected Cushing’s)


For customised diet advice, book a nutrition consult today. Full natural affordable diet plan tailored to your needs just $110 – you may just save $100’s off your feed costs & have a healthy horse (less vet bills).

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.

Feeding and Exercising a Horse with Laminitis

Mini's strip grazingGetting your horse or pony’s diet right with a case of laminitis is an essential part of their care and recovery. Here’s what you should be feeding:

Grass or pasture hay – preferably older hay (low sugar – no clover or rye) that is not mouldy

  • Wheaten chaff (small amount of Lucerne chaff or oaten chaff- for flavour), with no grain
  • Copra meal (coconut) – soaked in warm water
  • Minerals or mineral lick, but with no molasses
  • Add dose of Belinda’s Custom Loose Lick for your area
  • Vitamin C powder can also be added as a valuable supplement
  • Suitable herbs, as recommended by a herbalist, can be made into a tea – Chamomile and Rosehip are useful
  • Rescue Remedy can also be added to the horse’s drinking water to help with stress.

Here’s what not to feed during a case of laminitis, or to a horse or pony which is prone to laminitis:

  • Limit feeding of Lucerne hay or lucerne chaff
  • Clover hay
  • Molasses or feeds containing sugar
  • Any grain or feeds containing grain such as oats,
  • Pellets or bread
  • NO apples or carrots
  • Do not let your horse or pony graze on lush green pastures – especially at night or when it is frosty or extreme heat.

Exercise during laminitis

When your horse’s condition improves and it is able to move around, ensure your horse has adequate exercise. Begin with a five to ten minute walk twice a day, and increase this over time as your horse improves.

It’s important that your horse or pony is not confined in a stable or small yard for long periods at a time. A horse with laminitis should not be kept in a concrete floored stable. Correct bedding is essential – use rubber or deep sawdust or sand on floor, at least 10cm thick to ensure your horse’s comfort and recovery.

Natural Remedies and Care for a Horse with Laminitis or Founder

Nelly recovering

Nelly recovering well after homeopathic remedies, farrier work and WS Loose Lick supplement.

Nelly Before Homeopathic care - on vet drugs

Nelly Before Homeopathic care – on vet drugs

What you can do for your horse?

There are a number of measures you can take and natural forms of care on offer for a horse or pony with laminitis.

Laminitis can be effectively resolved and/or prevented with homeopathic remedies, as prescribed by an Animal Homeopath. Call me to get your consult form today!

It is important to ensure you have your horse’s teeth checked by a qualified equine dentist on a regular basis and hooves trimmed correctly as required. This will ensure your horse is ‘balanced’ – most health issues arise when your horse is not in balance.

Cut down on fertilisers – Superphosphate ‘ties up’ the magnesium in the soil, so avoid using it in your pastures. Laminitic horses are characteristically deficient in magnesium.

Note on Bute (Butazolidin)

As you may be aware, many vets prescribe ‘bute’ for a horse with laminitis. This ‘masks’ the pain and the horse may appear better, but unfortunately Bute may also block the body’s heailng process, preventing a true long term cure. Long term use of Bute may cause other problems; it can weaken blood vessels causing internal haemorrhaging. Your horse MUST be off bute for 3-4 days before starting homeopathic drops as they may stop the drops from working.

Nelly’s Founder recovery

Presentation

This mare has severe laminitis and pressure sores from spending 22 hours a day on the ground. She also had sole abscesses that were very painful. Nelly was under vet care and the pain relief helped for a week or two, then she went down hill. If they could not find a solution, she would have to be put to sleep.  Their vet had heard for my success with helping laminitis horses and gave me a call to see if I could help. I was so happy the vet was happy to go along with my advice and recommendation.

Care

Under the vet’s instruction the mare was taken off the pain relief 3 days before starting the homeopathic remedies. Within 24 hours Nelly showed improvement getting up and shuffling around eating.

As the days went on she continued to improve. A farrier trimmed her feet every  4 weeks.

She went from lying down for 22 hours a day to only 16 hours a day and this reduced over the next few weeks. Her carers applied Ionic silver to her wounds twice a day to help them heal.

With this case we had to change and try a few different combinations to help clear the hoof abscesses and for pain relief till the hooves grew out.

Now 3 months later she is back to normal, only lying down twice a day and happily grazing the rest of the time. Her carers are so happy with the result, as they love her so much.


“Good Morning Belinda, 

Well what progress we have had with Nelly. Thank you for those Pain Eze drops. They worked well for Nelly and gave her a little extra comfort. Nelly is coming along fantastic. She is so mobile now and nearly back to being a normal horse. Her time on her feet has extended out to only lying down twice a day !!!! She no longer feeds and lies down,  she now stands after she feeds 🙂 

Her hooves are growing out well. Steve is trimming them short and we are still 3 months or so away from being fully grown out, but every week we see progress.

 Nelly is still on the skinny side, however she is feeding well and her bowls are normal and she eats her  Maxi soy on its own. I’ve also been giving her Flaxseed oil every second day. 

Her coat is shiny and she is happy. She desperately wants to be out with our other horses but we still feel she is still too weak to be with them. The last thing we need is for her to be picked on. 

All her wounds have cleared up as you can see by the picture.

Thanks again for all your help. We have been talking with our Vet Sandy and keeping her in the loop with Nelly’s progress.”  

Cheers
Steve & Jo – Central QLD