Do you know what is missing from your pasture? Certain types of horses are prone to laminitis such as easy keepers, horses with crest necks, obese or insulin resistance horses. Laminitis is a debilitating disease that is sadly all too common. The laminitic horse’s diet needs to be low in sugar (we could get all very technical here and call sugars non-structural carbohydrates, water soluble carbohydrates, starches, ether soluble carbohydrates or non-fibre carbohydrates, but let’s just keep it simple and say ‘sugar’). But that tired-looking autumn grass can be just as dangerous for some animals at risk of laminitis. Laminitis Trust approved feeds from British Horse Feeds. Trace-clipping or using a lighter rug will mean that your horse will burn off some of his excess weight keeping warm. Pryde's EasiFeed, 256 Quia Road, Gunnedah, NSW, 2380, Australia. Laminitis can also be associated with sepsis or endotoxaemia and this includes grain-induced laminitis due to starch-overload and health problems such as retained placenta. It is very important to make sure the diet you are feeding your laminitic horse is balanced. Beet pulp is also very safe to feed these horses. After administration of excessive doses of certain drugs, such as corticosteroids (eg, prednisolone). Laminitis is an extremely painful condition effecting the laminae in the hoof. Both EMS and PPID are associated with insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels (hyperinsulaemia). We have also had great results with horses who have excess energy when working them. If this reduction doesn’t achieve the weight loss you want, reduce the amount of forage being fed to 1.5% of the horse’s ideal bodyweight. Never feed grain or grain-based products to an overweight horse, horses with Equine Cushing’s disease or Insulin Resistance or horses which have suffered previous bouts of laminitis. Feeds rich in carbohydrate are quite energy dense that means a horse can easily consume more carbohydrates than its body can handle. Sudden changes may disrupt the fragile balance of bacteria in the horse’s hind-gut which may increase the risk of colic and/or laminitis. Donald Walsh, DVM, … The good news is, feeding a laminitic horse doesn’t have to be difficult. If you will be feeding soaked hay with unknown mineral profiles, or that changes all the time, at least check with the state university of the area where the hay was grown to find out what mineral deficiencies and imbalances are common, and to get advice on supplementation. Feed-induced laminitis is linked to either obesity, chronic intake of grass or short term excessive intake of starchy feeds or rich grass. By learning more about laminitis and its causes, signs and treatments, you may be able to minimize the risks of laminitis in your horse or control the long-term damage if it does occur. There are a few ways you can give your horse access to low sugar forages. Any form of steam flaked, micronised or extruded grain. Water: Often overlooked as a nutrient, water is one of the best allies in the defense of laminitis in your horse. Keyflow® feeds also have the additional benefit of Protexin, a probiotic which, is ideal for a horse with laminitis. This may increase the risk of laminitis for individuals that are insulin resistant. In laminitis the blood flow to the laminae is disrupted, meaning that they weaken and possibly die. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Fast Fibre, Veteran Light and ‘L’ Mix are designed specifically for horses and ponies prone to laminitis and are high in fibre and very low in starch and sugar, each with a combined level of under 10%. The Facts on Beet Pulp. Laminitis due to starch-overload is very rare as most horses and ponies prone to laminitis are not fed large amounts of high starch concentrate feeds. The sensitive lamellae act like Velcro to form a strong bond to hold the pedal bone in place within the hoof. If your horse needs extra feed in addition to the low sugar forage you are feeding you must be VERY careful when selecting a suitable feed. If your horse does eat too much sweet feed (usually over 25 lbs or so), keep a close eye on him. LAMINITIS DEFINED. If your horse is not losing weight, reduce the amount of low sugar forage being fed to 1.5% of the horse’s current bodyweight (7.5 kg/day for a 500 kg horse). It contains high levels of calcium, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, lysine, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folic acid. Exercise will help to aid weight loss and can help protect against insulin resistance. And some people think it’s a cheap filler that does nothing for a horse except help with satiety. If you decide to try haylage, as with all new feeds, introduce it slowly over several days, and monitor your horse closely. Pay particular attention to any regional fat deposits such as a cresty neck, fat pads behind the shoulder or fat-filled eye sockets as these could indicate an increased risk of EMS. This is often due to lameness or pain on the other leg. If the horse is able to exercise, a gentle exercise routine each day will also help them to lose weight and reduce their risk of further bouts of laminitis. A high fibre, low starch and low sugar diet is essential for laminitics, so avoid feeds that contain cereals or molasses. Managing horse nutrition through changing seasons, Electrolyte replacement for your horse - how to use it, How to replenish your horses muscle glycogen, How to feed your horse for muscle building. If your horse needs to lose weight you must do it carefully, as forcing the laminitic horse into rapid weight loss can also stop them from healing their damaged hoof tissue and may cause other problems like hyperlipaemia. Placing an excessive weight on one limb for an extended period of time can lead to supporting limb laminitis. When feeding grains, feed only processed grains as this will minimize the risk of starch being delivered undigested to the hindgut. These include mature or stemmy tropical grass hays and mature or stemmy lucerne hay (including lucerne hay that has been weather damaged). You should NEVER feed a feed to a laminitic horse if it has any of the following ingredients: Oats, corn, wheat, rice or barley Millrun, millmix, bran (rice or wheat), pollard Any form of steam flaked, micronized or extruded grain Studies show that these can benefit fibre digestion and affect systemic blood inflammatory cytokines. For horses that need a higher level of hoof-related nutrients, Kentucky Equine Research offers Bio-Bloom PS (Bio-Bloom HF in Australia) to provide additional support for hoof quality and growth. The risk is higher in the spring and autumn when grass growth is most rapid, and grass is higher in non-structural carbohydrates such as sugars, starch and fructans. If you are considering a particular feed for your laminitic horse, call the manufacturer to see if they have had the feeds sugar and starch levels tested and ask to see the results. And when it comes to dietary changes for laminitic horses, owners might not know where to start. Feeding Horses with Laminitis. If it still isn’t holding its bodyweight you can add a high calorie, low sugar unfortified feeds like soybean hulls or sugarbeet pulp to the existing diet. Most Keyflow® feeds are low in sugar and starch so would be well suited to a horse at risk of laminitis. Laminitis is an extremely painful condition affecting 1 in 10 horses/ponies every year and can cause permanent damage to the hooves. Monitor your horse closely. Laminitis can affect any horse, pony, donkey or their hybrid at any time of the year and not just in spring – there is no ‘safe season’. Restricting forage intake by too much may increase the risk of colic, gastric ulcers and oral stereotypies. Make sure it’s impossible. You should aim for a fat score of between 2.5-3 on a scale of 0-5. Some people think it is high in sugar, some people think it is toxic, and some people think it causes laminitis and exacerbates Insulin Resistance. 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