Laminitis: the price of excess:
Laminitis is a very serious condition. This is an attack on the internal tissues of the foot (the podophyll). A short induction period is followed by excessive accumulation of blood followed by edema at these structures. Blood circulation, from the hoof to the crown, is disrupted as well as the supply of oxygen and nutrients. The tissues will deteriorate and the third phalanx may tip over. When this shift occurs, complete recovery is then impossible.
The mechanisms of laminitis:
1 ) Inflammation of the foot
2) If the inflammation is too severe, the 3rd phalanx shifts, which will compress the network of blood vessels causing congestion in the foot.
3) The tip of the 3rd phalanx can descend and tilt until it pierces the sole.
Very painful :
The symptoms are very clear: first the horse is stiffer, he “walks on eggshells”, very quickly he will present significant pain (compared to humans who have a beating inflammation under a nail), the limbs are stiff with increase in the polygon of support, the front legs forward and the hind legs below: analgesic attitude to try to relieve itself, the affected hooves are warmer, the horse is pinned to the spot; he suffers from general malaise, he is not hungry, he is feverish, sweating is profuse, breathing is accelerated and he may have symptoms of colic. When all four hooves are reached, the only solution left is to lie down.
Inside the fetlock and in the fold of the pastern we can feel the pulsation of the blood vessels.
You need to call the vet urgently. In the meantime, keep the horse in the box or paddock where he will have plenty of room to lie down. Above all, do not make him walk because the blood circulation is disturbed in such a way that it is not resolved by walking. Besides, the horse is already suffering enough!
Do not cool the hooves, this will slow down blood circulation even more.
Its chances of recovery or even survival depend on the speed of intervention by the veterinarian (start of treatment) and follow-up by the farrier.
You can support the veterinarian's action with Laminaze***** , a product which contains, among other things, many antioxidants to accelerate the elimination of toxins.
Very often of food origin, laminitis can progress to liver and/or kidney failure. In this case it is recommended to administer a course of Equi'drink Drainage , combined with a course of Biotics .
In the acute phase, all food is strictly prohibited, apart from good quality hay.
Start a course of Biotics as soon as possible in order to balance the intestinal flora.
Several causes are known:
*food overload leading the body to produce excess acidity, resulting in an imbalance in the intestinal flora: digestion is disrupted, many bacteria die in the intestines, particularly in the small intestine. This process releases toxins and the enzymatic detoxification process is quickly overwhelmed;
*liver fat overload syndrome (e.g. obesity in ponies);
*(prolonged) treatment with corticosteroids;
*digestive, pulmonary infection, chronic kidney disorders or others, which leads to the accumulation of toxins in the blood;
*We also know road laminitis which manifests itself 12 to 24 hours after an effort (endurance race, walk on hard ground, etc.). The causes are then multiple: quality of the ground, poorly adapted shoes, hydroelectrolytic losses, in particular imbalance between calcium and potassium, etc.;
*drinking too much cold water at once after exercise disrupts the intestinal flora (risk of colic);
*horses that have deficient immunity and hormonal imbalance as in the case of Cushing's disease;
*overweight: overweight ponies are particularly susceptible to laminitis. With excess weight, metabolic disorders can manifest, to the point that abdominal fat will behave like an endocrine gland, releasing certain hormones into the blood, harmful to the lamina. If your pony is truly overweight, then gradually reduce his ration by providing him with a supplement like Slimline . Make sure his meadow is not too rich and give him enough exercise.
But the main cause, especially in horses/ponies that live in the pasture, is an excess of carbohydrates in their food.
Fructane, the criminal!
Recent research has shown that it is not the protein level in spring grass that causes laminitis, but rather the sugar fructan. Grasses store fructan under the influence of the sun, but also at temperatures between 0 and 5° C., which is the case in spring and autumn. So very beautiful days followed by night frosts are alarm phases!, the same for periods of rain which follow periods of drought. Fructan piles up in “poor” meadows and flowering grasses. Even hay can contain too much fructan. If you have doubts, then soak the hay for an hour, the fructan, being water-soluble, will disappear.
Too high a sugar level in the blood (hyperglycemia) primarily damages the blood vessels in the lamellae of the hoof (comparable to the vascular problems of diabetics) with, as a consequence, increased edema between the lamellae.
Be careful !
Remember that a horse that has had laminitis can easily recur. In the event of a recurrence, it takes at least 4 to 6 weeks before the inflammation calms down. Damage to the laminitis is never 100% repaired, it is cumulative, each laminitis builds on the damage of the previous one.
The white line very often remains enlarged, laminitis can be recognized there.
So prevention is better than cure: give your horse/pony Equi'mixture Anti-laminitis preventive as soon as the grass grows back. Limit outings to the meadow and get your horse/pony used to it gradually, preferably after spring and autumn growth.
It is the same for horses which sometimes have slight laminitis: they still walk but with a shortened step, uncomfortable. When resting, they tend to swing constantly. Check to see if a change in food changes symptoms: increase fiber, remove carbohydrates, and give a supplement such as Iodamine Equine .
Monitor the weight of your horse/pony, avoid being overweight.
If your horse/pony needs medication, follow it immediately with a course of Equi'drink Drainage and Biotics .
Research has shown that laminated horses/ponies have insulin levels 4 times higher than normal. Once “cured”, they retain sensitivity to glucose: they have difficulty digesting sugars and relapse easily.